Anadarko Petroleum will begin the development of the Lucius project located in the Keathley Canyon area of the deep water Gulf of Mexico.

The project is located approximately 200 miles south-east of Houston in waters about 7,000ft deep.

Apache‘s chairman and CEO G Steven Farris said the Lucius unit is a world-class oil and gas accumulation in an emerging area of the deep water Gulf.

"The decision to sanction the Lucius development is a milestone for Apache as it is the first major deep water Gulf project approved since acquisition of Mariner Energy in 2010," added Farris.

Anadarko will develop the field using a truss spar floating production facility with production capacity of 80,000 barrels of oil and 450 million cubic feet of natural gas per day.

Currently, the spar is under construction at Technip‘s facility in Pori, Finland.

The Lucius unit includes portions of Keathley Canyon blocks 874, 875, 918 and 919, and first production is planned for 2014 from six initial producing wells.

Under the terms of a previously announced unitisation agreement, Lucius interest owners agreed to process natural gas produced from the Hadrian South field through the Lucius facility in return for a production-handling fee and reimbursement for any required facility upgrades.

As the operator, Anadarko holds a 35% working interest in the project.

Other interest owners include Plains Exploration & Production holding a 23.3% interest, Exxon Mobil Corporation 15%, Petrobras 9.6%, Eni Petroleum 5.4% and Apache Corporation 11.7% interests respectively.

Apache Corporation is an oil and gas exploration and production company with operations in the US, Canada, Egypt, the UK North Sea, Australia and Argentina.