BP PLC (NYSE: BP) announced on Tuesday it has discovered two new oilfields in the Gulf of Mexico and has identified an additional billion barrels of oil at an existing field with the use of new seismic technology.
The British energy Company made the massive discovery at its Thunder Horse field of the tip of Louisiana. Executives are crediting their investment in advanced seismic technology and data processing for speeding up the Company’s ability to confirm the discoveries. The Company says the analysis took just weeks, whereas previously it would have taken a year to analyze.
BP now expects its fossil fuel output from the Gulf of Mexico to reach 400,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) by the middle of the next decade. Currently, it produces about 300,000 boepd, up from less than 200,000 boepd about 5 decades ago.
BP also announced plans to expand production at its Atlantis oilfield in the Gulf of Mexico, consolidating its status as the largest oil producer in that region. The Company said it will spend USD 1.3 Billion to develop a third phase of its Atlantis field off the coast of New Orleans. Scheduled to start production in 2020, the eight new wells will add 38,000 bpd to BP’s production at Atlantis. The decision comes after BP found another 400 million barrels of oil at the field.
BP’s Gulf of Mexico business is key to our strategy of growing production of advantaged high-margin oil,” Bernard Looney, BP’s Chief Executive for production and exploration, said in a statement.
“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,” he added.
Just northeast of Thunder Horse, BP also announced new discoveries at fields near its Na Kika platform.
BP says it plans to develop reservoirs at its Manuel prospect, where Shell holds a 50% stake. Producers also found oil at the Nearly Headless Nick prospect near Na Kika, where BP has a 20.25% working interest.