The company 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.

The Lucius project, which is operated by Anadarko, includes portions of Keathley Canyon blocks 874, 875, 918 and 919.

Anadarko president and chief operating officer Al Walker said Lucius would be among the most economic projects in the company’s portfolio.

"Once completed, Lucius will establish important infrastructure in an emerging area of the Gulf of Mexico where we have identified additional prospects and opportunities," Walker said.

The project is estimated to hold more than 300 million barrels of oil equivalent with relatively shallow and highly productive reservoirs.

According to the company, drilling will begin next year, with first production expected in 2014.

Anadarko holds a 35% working interest in the project and other interest owners include Plains Exploration & Production Co (23.3%), Exxon Mobil Corporation (15%), Petrobras (9.6%), Eni Petroleum (5.4%) and Apache Corporation (11.7%).