Just hours after the British Petrochemical giant announced its plans to invest $1.3 billion in Atlantis Phase 3 oilfield, the Company has discovered over 1 billion barrels of crude oil at an already owned oilfield in Gulf of Mexico. Two new discoveries in offshore oilfields were also announced along with investment plans in nearby oil field.
Gulf of Mexico is a major hotspot for oil exploration. US government’s estimated oil production from the Gulf for 2018 averages around 1.7 million barrels per day with additional production estimates of 1, 00,000 barrels per day in 2019. BP, Gulf of Mexico’s biggest oil producer, will upgrade production to new highs.
The new discovery will amplify oil production from Gulf of Mexico to 4, 00,000 barrels of oil per day by 2025, which is a significant improvement from existing 3,00,000 boepd. This will continue company’s growth trajectory in production levels from the GoM fields which used to produce 2, 00,000 boepd in 2013.
On January 8, the company announced plans to invest $1.3 billion in developing the third phase of Atlantis oilfield off the New Orleans coast in Gulf of Mexico. The project is due to start in 2020 with 8 previously unexplored wells expected to add 38,000 bpd capacity. The investments plans were confirmed after BP found 400 million barrels of oil in the field. The 1 billion barrels discovery happened at Thunder Horse field near the Louisiana tip.
New developments in data processing and advanced seismic technology is being credited for the new discovery by the investors. The discovery would have been delayed by a year, had old methods of data analysis been used. But new data analysis methods have minimized the process to only a few weeks.
This is only one of the number of awaited explorations BP is planning in the near future. BP is also planning Atlantis phase 4 and 5. BP’s new discoveries at Na Kika facility could also further the development of tie-back opportunities. The Manuel prospect owned partially by Shell is also key in exploration plans.
Bernard Looney the company’s chief executive of upstream operations said that the company has raised production levels in the Gulf of Mexico by more than 60%. The company sees tremendous growth potential as the gulf is an underexplored region with only 12% of hydrocarbons explored so far. The company according to Mr. Looney is building on their world class position by improvements and advancements in exploration and technology processes.