BP announced this week that it had approved a “major” expansion of its Atlantis project in the deepwater US Gulf of Mexico. The super-major also said it had identified “significant” additional oil reserves that might offer further development opportunities around its production hubs in the Gulf region.
BP is pursuing a strategy of raising output from its existing facilities in the Gulf, and it said the US$1.3 billion Atlantis Phase 3 development was the latest example of this. The approval for the expansion comes after recent company breakthroughs in seismic imaging and reservoir characterisation identified an additional 400 million barrels of oil in place (OIP) at the Atlantis field.
Phase 3 of Atlantis will include the construction of a subsea production system from eight new wells that will be tied into the current platform, which is located 150 miles (241 km) south of New Orleans. The project is due to come online in 2020, and is anticipated to boost output at the Atlantis platform by an estimated 38,000 boepd on a gross basis at its peak. BP noted that Phase 3 would also access the eastern area of the field, where its advanced imaging and reservoir characterisation had identified additional oil resources.
“Atlantis Phase 3 shows how our latest technologies and digital techniques create real value – identifying opportunities, driving efficiencies and enabling the delivery of major projects,” said BP’s regional president for the Gulf of Mexico and Canada, Starlee Sykes. “Developments like this are building an exciting future for our business in the Gulf.”
The super-major said that the application of the same technology and analysis that had been used at Atlantis had also identified an additional 1 billion barrels of OIP at the Thunder Horse field. Meanwhile, BP believes that two new discoveries near the Na Kika production facility – at the Manuel and Nearly Headless Nick prospects – could provide further tie-back development opportunities.
BP is the top oil producer in the Gulf, and its net output in the region has increased by more than 60% over the last five years. It is now above 300,000 boepd, up from less than 200,000 boepd in 2013. The super-major expects its Gulf output to grow to around 400,000 boepd by the mid-2020s.