Inpex ups Lucius stake

Japan's Inpex has upped its stake in the Anadarko Petroleum-operated Lucius deep-water field in the US Gulf of Mexico.

The further acquisition follows the recent exit by US independent Apache through a double asset sale to compatriot Freeport-McMoRan.

Inpex bought into the field in 2012 with a 7.2% stake, but has now moved on to around 7.5%.

In early May, Freeport-McMoRan bought Apache's 11.7% stake in Lucius along with its 12.5% stake in the Heidelberg field, also in the US Gulf, for a combined $1.4 billion.

As part of the deal, Apache opened its sales offer to all stakeholders in the field, all of which exercised their preferential rigths.

Lucius, a 300-million barrel plus find in the Keathley Canyon area, will be developed using a spar platform. The hull currently is installed and working towards first oil before the end of the year.

The field, covering parts of blocks 874, 875, 918 and 919, sits in about 2160 metres of water.

US independent Anadarko is operator at Lucius where it is also joined by US supermajor ExxonMobil, US independent Plains Exploration, Brazilian state giant Petrobras and Italian major Eni.

(This article has been amended to reflect the fact that the Lucius spar is installed and commissioning towards first oil later this year.)

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