McDermott International has confirmed the award of the front-end engineering and design deal for a floater to be used by Australian operator BHP at Mexico's first deep-water oil development.

The FEED award confirms an exclusive report from Upstream earlier this month that Houston-based McDermott was the front runner to land the contract for the semi-submersible floating production unit for the Trion field in the Gulf of Mexico.


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The FPU will operate on the ultra-deepwater field, which sits in a water depth of around 2500 metres and is situated some 180 kilometres from the Mexican coast and about 30 kilometres south of the US-Mexico border.

"McDermott will lead a single, integrated team to perform project management and execution planning," the US contractor said on Tuesday.

The workscope includes engineering work related to the configuration, sizing and analysis of the floater, including the topsides, hull, risers and mooring.

McDermott previously worked on the pre-FEED study for BHP and Trio partner, Mexican state oil giant Pemex.

McDermott's group senior vice president for projects, Samik Mukherjee, said: "With integrated project management, engineering, procurement services and self-fabrication in our yards in Altamira, Mexico, and Batam, Indonesia, McDermott's globally integrated EPC project delivery capabilities will allow us to reduce risk and enhance certainty of delivery on the BHP Trion project."

TechnipFMC drops out of race

As Upstream reported earlier this month, McDermott and TechnipEnergies were BHP’s finalists in the race to supply the FPU, which will have a capacity of between 100,000 and 150,000 barrels per day.

With April drawing to a close, UK-headquartered TechnipEnergies fell out of the frame in the final bid evaluation, leaving McDermott with a clear run for the finishing line, multiple contracting sources earlier told Upstream.

The FEED contract, once awarded, will mature into an engineering, procurement and construction prize, according to people familiar with the project.

Sources said McDermott will lead the FEED work with support provided by Houston Offshore Engineering and Wood, while technical support for fabrication and integration planning will be provided by its Batam fabrication yard in Indonesia and Altamira yard in Mexico.

Last year, BHP said first production from Trion is potentially targeted for 2025, although some sources believe 2026 is more likely.

BHP has also selected French engineering house Doris to continue into a next phase of subsea engineering work on the Trion project.

Doris will cover FEED work on the development’s subsea umbilical, riser and flowline system, after it completed pre-FEED studies.

Upstream previously reported that the SURF hardware would likely have to handle production from as many as 22 subsea wells, although the base case appears to be 18 wells.

Trion was discovered by Pemex a decade ago, when the Mexican company was looking to expand its range into deep waters.

BHP won a competitive farm-in process hosted by Pemex in 2016.

BHP acquired a 60% participating interest in, and operatorship of, two blocks containing the Trion discovery, which Pemex estimated at a gross recoverable 485 million barrels of oil equivalent.

(This article has been amended to correct the name of TechnipFMC to TechnipEnergies.)