Chevron USA Inc. berencana akan mengembangkan lahan minyak Big Foot di Teluk Mexico dengan dry-tree floating drilling and production facility dalam perairan 5,300 ft.

The company let a contract to KBR Inc. for front-end engineering and design of the topsides of the facility, the hull of which will be an extended tension-leg platform.

Oil and gas processing equipment on the topsides will include inlet separation, gas compression, dehydration and export, oil treatment and export pumping, produced-water treatment, and required utility systems, KBR said. Initial installation will include water injection facilities for reservoir pressure maintenance early in the field’s life.

KBR will provide engineering and project management services to develop the process design; specify the required equipment; lay out, modularize, and integrate the decks; perform structural analyses; and provide the electrical power generation and distribution system to support the platform and electrical submersible pumps.

The field, a 2006 discovery, is on Walker Ridge Block 29 about 200 miles from New Orleans and 180 miles offshore. It’s 35 miles south of Chevron’s Tahiti oil field, where production started in May in 4,100 ft of water from two subsea drill centers tied back to production equipment on a truss spar (OGJ, May 11, 2009, Newsletter).

Production rates haven’t been disclosed.

Chevron, operator, holds 60% working interest in Big Foot. Partners are Statoil Gulf of Mexico LLC and Marubeni Oil & Gas (USA) Inc.

Chevron earlier signed a letter of intent with Enbridge Inc. for a 40-mile, 20-in. OD pipeline to carry Big Foot oil to a connection with existing pipelines (OGJ, Oct. 12, 2009, Newsletter).