Nearly three decades after BP began exploring the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, the company remains one of the region’s leading oil and gas producers, with lease blocks covering an area more than twice the size of Delaware. In fact, BP has been the largest energy investor in the deepwater gulf over the past decade.
Between 2013 and 2015, its average daily production in the region increased from 189,000 barrels of oil equivalent to 249,000. This reflects BP’s continued investment at its four massive Gulf of Mexico production platforms: Atlantis, Na Kika, Thunder Horse and Mad Dog. Elsewhere in the gulf, the company holds interests in four hubs that other companies operate: Mars, Olympus, Ursa and Great White.
In 2016, BP successfully launched a major water injection project in its Thunder Horse field. The three-year project will allow for the recovery of an additional 65 million barrels of oil equivalent.
BP also has moved forward with its Thunder Horse South Expansion project and its Mad Dog Phase 2 project. The former will add a new subsea drill center roughly two miles from the Thunder Horse platform, which will help sustain and grow deepwater oil production for years to come. The latter will develop resources in the central area of the giant Mad Dog field through a subsea development linked to a new floating production hub.
“Technological innovation has enabled safe and reliable operations even as the industry has moved into deeper water and new, more complex geologies,” says Richard Morrison, regional president of BP’s Gulf of Mexico business. “With our significant resource base, continued investment at our current hubs, and new project pipeline, we have a vibrant future in the Gulf of Mexico.”
To support its gulf operations, BP maintains a logistics base in Port Fourchon, Louisiana, along with a heliport in Houma. Once offshore teams reach the deepwater gulf, they receive 24/7 assistance — including constant communication and real-time data analysis — from the company’s Houston Monitoring Center.
BP plans to expand the monitoring center so that it can support drilling operations around the world.