BP approves Thunder Horse South expansion project in Gulf of Mexico

Oil major BP has sanctioned development of the Thunder Horse South Expansion Phase 2 project in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.

Thunder Horse platform in the Gulf of Mexico
Thunder Horse platform in the Gulf of Mexico. Source: BP

BP said on Monday that the project will further boost output at one of the largest oil fields in the Gulf of Mexico and marks BP’s latest major investment in the U.S. offshore region.

The project is expected to add an estimated 50,000 gross barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) of production at its peak at the existing Thunder Horse platform, with first oil expected in 2021.

“This latest expansion at Thunder Horse is another example of how the Gulf of Mexico is leading the way in advantaged oil growth for BP, unlocking significant value and safely growing a high-margin business,” said Starlee Sykes, BP’s regional president for the Gulf of Mexico and Canada.

“It also highlights our continued growth and momentum in a region that will remain a key part of BP’s global portfolio for years to come.”

This upstream major project will add two new subsea production units roughly two miles to the south of the existing Thunder Horse platform with two new production wells in the near term. Eventually eight wells will be drilled as part of the overall development.

Thunder Horse South Expansion Phase 2 follows several other major expansion projects at the offshore platform in recent years. An earlier South Expansion project at Thunder Horse started up ahead of schedule and under budget in early 2017 and raised output at the facility by an additional 50,000 boe/d.

Last October, Thunder Horse Northwest Expansion project came online and is expected to boost production by an estimated 30,000 boe/d. And in 2016, BP started up a significant water injection project at Thunder Horse to enhance oil production at the field.

Earlier this year, BP announced that recent breakthroughs in advanced seismic imaging had identified an additional 1 billion barrels of oil in place at the Thunder Horse field, highlighting the potential for further development opportunities in the future.

Over the last five years, BP’s net production in the Gulf of Mexico has increased by more than 60 percent, rising from less than 200,000 boe/d in 2013 to more than 300,000 boe/d today. BP anticipates its production in the region growing to around 400,000 boe/d through the middle of the next decade.

Thunder Horse South Expansion Phase 2 layout. Source: BP

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