Woodside Energy Group has announced the final investment decision (FID) for the development of the $7.2bn Trion ultra-deepwater oil project in the Gulf of Mexico.

Woodside operates the project with a 60% stake while Mexican state-owned oil company Pemex Exploración y Producción owns the remaining stake.

Scheduled for commissioning in 2028, the Trion oil field is due to be developed with an in-field floating production unit (FPU) with an oil production capacity of 100,000 barrels per day.

The FPU will be connected to a floating storage and offloading vessel with 950,000 barrels of oil capacity.

In a press statement, Woodside said: “The investment is expected to deliver an internal rate of return (IRR) greater than 16% with a payback period of less than four years. The forecast IRR excluding the capital carry is greater than 19%.”

The 1,285km² Trion field is located in the Perdido Belt within the Western Gulf of Mexico, about 30km south of the US-Mexico maritime border.

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The project aims to develop an estimated 479 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Woodside CEO Meg O’Neill was quoted by Bloomberg News as saying: “We have considered a range of oil demand forecasts and believe Trion can help satisfy the world’s energy requirements.

O’Neill said the partners expect to produce two-thirds of the resource at the Trion field within the first ten years after its commissioning.

Commenting on the FID, activist-investor group Market Forces acting CEO Will van de Pol was quoted by Reuters as saying: “Woodside’s decision to push ahead with a new oilfield in 2023 is yet another multi-billion dollar bet against the climate goals of the Paris Agreement.”