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BP starts up major project at its largest Gulf of Mexico platform

Release date:
25 May 2016
Water injection expected to result in 65 million additional barrels produced from Thunder Horse

HOUSTON - BP has started up a major water injection project at its Thunder Horse platform, extending the production life of one of the biggest deepwater fields in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. 


The project, which reflects BP’s strategy of continued investment in its existing deepwater Gulf of Mexico production hubs, will boost recovery of oil and natural gas from one of the Thunder Horse field’s three main reservoirs. 


Over the past three years, BP refurbished the platform’s existing topsides and subsea equipment while also drilling two water-injection wells at the site. From those wells, water will be injected into the reservoir to increase pressure and enhance production. The improvements are expected to allow the Thunder Horse facility to recover an additional 65 million barrels of oil equivalent over time. 


The project is the second of five major upstream projects BP expects to bring online in 2016. It is part of BP’s plan to add approximately 800,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day of new production globally from projects starting up between 2015 and 2020. 


“This project will help BP sustain high levels of oil production in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico for years to come,” said Richard Morrison, regional president of BP’s Gulf of Mexico business. “And it’s another example of BP taking advantage of targeted and cost-effective opportunities within our existing portfolio.”


The Thunder Horse platform, which sits in more than 6,000 feet of water and began production in June 2008, has the capacity to handle 250,000 barrels of oil and 200 million cubic feet per day of natural gas. The facility continued to operate while work on the water injection project was underway.


In the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, BP operates four large production platforms - Thunder Horse, Atlantis, Mad Dog and Na Kika - and holds interests in four non-operated hubs - Mars, Mars B, Ursa and Great White.


BP has two other major projects underway in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The Thunder Horse South Expansion project will add a new subsea drill center roughly two miles from the Thunder Horse platform. In addition, BP continues to design the Mad Dog Phase 2 project, which will develop resources in the central area of the Mad Dog field through a subsea development tied back to a new floating production hub consisting of up to 24 wells from four drill centers.

About BP


Over the past 10 years, BP has invested more than $90 billion in the U.S. - more than any other energy company. BP is a leading producer of oil and gas and produces enough energy annually to light nearly the entire country for a year. Employing about 16,000 people across the country, BP supports more than 170,000 additional jobs through all of its business activities.

Further information



BP Press Office, Houston, +1 281 366 4463, uspress@bp.com

Notes to editors


  • BP is the largest investor in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico over the past 10 years.
  • BP is one of the largest leaseholders in the Gulf with acreage in about 440 lease blocks.
  • The Thunder Horse platform is located about 150 miles southeast of New Orleans, in the Mississippi Canyon at a water depth of 6,050 feet and has been in service since 2008.
  • Thunder Horse is operated by BP with a 75% working interest. Exxon Mobil is the co-owner with a 25% working interest.

Cautionary statement


In order to utilize the ‘safe harbor’ provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the ‘PSLRA’), BP is providing the following cautionary statement. This press release contains certain forward-looking statements concerning BP’s Thunder Horse production platform and field, including expected production levels and production life and BP’s plans for future projects in the Gulf of Mexico. Actual results may differ from those expressed in such statements. 


This press release contains references to non-proved resources and production outlooks based on non-proved resources that the SEC's rules prohibit us from including in our filings with the SEC. U.S. investors are urged to consider closely the disclosures in our Form 20-F, SEC File No. 001-06262. This form is available on our website at www.bp.com. You can also obtain this form from the SEC by calling 1-800-SEC-0330 or by logging on to their website at www.sec.gov.