US-based oil and gas firm Hess Corporation is to develop Tubular Bells, a deepwater oil and gas project in the Gulf of Mexico.

The $2.3bn project is situated in water depths ranging from 4,300ft to 4,600ft, 135 miles south-east of New Orleans in the Mississippi Canyon area.

The annual gross production and total recoverable resources are estimated at 40,000-45,000 barrels and 120 million barrels of oil equivalent, respectively.

The project also involves additional commitments for production handling, an export pipeline, and oil and gas-gathering and processing services.

Drilling will begin in 2012 and initial production is expected in 2014, subject to the receipt of government permits.

Hess will hold a 57.14% stake in the field and Chevron USA will hold 42.86%.