Australian oil and gas company Woodside Energy Group has taken a final investment decision (FID) on the Trion oil project in Mexican waters, which involves a capital expenditure of $7.2bn.

The deepwater project in the Gulf of Mexico aims to develop an estimated 479 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMboe) of best estimate (2C) contingent resource of oil and gas.

The first oil from the Mexican project is targeted for 2028.

Woodside is the operator of the Trion oil field with a stake of 60%. Its partner is Mexico-based PEMEX Exploración y Producción, which holds the remaining stake of 40%.

The Trion oil project is subject to the approval of the joint venture as well as regulatory approval of the field development plan (FDP), which is anticipated to be obtained in Q4 2023.

According to Woodside, the Trion oil field will be developed using a floating production unit (FPU), which will have an oil production capacity of 100,000 barrels per day.

The FPU will be linked to a floating storage and offloading (FSO) vessel which will have a capacity of 950,000 barrels of oil.

In the initial phase, the project will involve the drilling of 18 wells of which nine will be producers, seven will be water injectors, and two will be gas injectors drilled. Over the life of the Trion oil project, a total of 24 wells will be drilled.

Woodside CEO Meg O’Neill said: “Trion is a valuable resource with a mature development concept. Our strong balance sheet and disciplined approach enable us to invest in opportunities such as Trion, expanding our global portfolio and delivering long-term value.

“The investment is aligned with Woodside’s strategy, exceeds Woodside’s capital allocation framework targets and will be a strong contributor to Woodside’s cash flows, shareholder returns and the funding of future developments in oil, gas and new energy.”

The Trion oil field is located in a water depth of 2,500m, nearly 180km off the Mexican coastline and 30km south of the maritime border of Mexico and the US. It was discovered by PEMEX in 2012.

BHP Petroleum acquired a stake in the deepwater oil project in 2017 and last year it merged with Woodside in a multi-billion dollar deal.