British oil major BP announced on January 8 that it approved a major expansion at the Atlantis field in the Gulf of Mexico and has also identified significant additional oil resources that could create further development opportunities around the production hubs it operates in the region.
“BP’s Gulf of Mexico business is key to our strategy of growing production of advantaged high-margin oil. We are building on our world-class position, upgrading the resources at our fields through technology, productivity and exploration success,” BP’s Upstream Chief Executive Bernard Looney said.
“And these fields are still young – only 12% of the hydrocarbons in place across our Gulf portfolio have been produced so far. We can see many opportunities for further development, offering the potential to continue to create significant value through the middle of the next decade and beyond,” he added.
According to BP, the $1.3 billion Atlantis Phase 3 development will include the construction of a new subsea production system from eight new wells that will be tied into the current platform, 150 miles south of New Orleans. Scheduled to come on stream in 2020, the project is expected to boost production at the platform by an estimated 38,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day gross at its peak.
BP seismic data have revealed an additional 400 million barrels of oil in place at the Atlantis field.
BP has now identified an additional 1 billion barrels of oil in place at the Thunder Horse field. Elsewhere, two new discoveries near the Na Kika production facility could provide further tie-back development opportunities.
BP is also announcing two oil discoveries in the Gulf of Mexico, at the Manuel and Nearly Headless Nick prospects. The Manuel discovery is located on Mississippi Canyon block 520, east of the BP-operated Na Kika platform. The oil pay in high-quality Miocene sandstone reservoirs. BP is expecting to develop these reservoirs via subsea tieback to the Na Kika platform. BP’s partner in the Manuel discovery is Shell, which holds a 50% working interest.
BP also has a stake in the Nearly Headless Nick discovery located on Mississippi Canyon block 387, operated by LLOG. The oil pay in high-quality Miocene sandstone reservoirs is expected to be tied back to the nearby LLOG-operated Delta House facility. BP’s partners in the Nearly Headless Nick discovery include LLOG, Kosmos Energy Ltd, and Ridgewood Energy. BP holds a 20.25% working interest.
Over the last five years, BP’s net production in the Gulf of Mexico has increased by more than 60%, rising from less than 200,000 barrels per day in 2013 to more than 300,000 barrels per day today. BP is currently the top oil producer in the Gulf and anticipates its production growing to around 400,000 barrels per day through the middle of the next decade.
The growth will be supported by recent project startups, including Thunder Horse Northwest and Thunder Horse South expansions and the Thunder Horse Water Injection project, as well as the addition of a second platform (Argos) at the Mad Dog field, which is on budget and on schedule to come online in late 2021.
Future potential developments at BP’s offshore fields in the Gulf include Atlantis Phase 4 and 5, further developments at Thunder Horse, Na Kika subsea tiebacks and Mad Dog field extensions.