Thunder Horse expansion project starts up in Gulf of Mexico

October 18, 2018

The fourth major global Upstream project to begin production for BP this year, the Thunder Horse Northwest Expansion, started up in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.

“This latest expansion of Thunder Horse is another important milestone in our efforts to maximize value from our assets in the Gulf,” said Starlee Sykes, regional president of BP’s Gulf of Mexico and Canada business. “Over the past five years we’ve driven up production through safe and reliable operations and bringing on new deepwater projects in a more efficient and standardized way.

This new project, completed four months ahead of schedule and 15 percent under budget, is expected to boost production at Thunder Horse by an estimated 30,000 boe/d at its peak, further increasing output at one of the largest oil fields in the Gulf of Mexico.

“All this hard work is now delivering results, our Gulf of Mexico business is thriving,” Sykes said.
Bernard Looney, BP’s Upstream chief executive said BP’s business in the Gulf of Mexico demonstrates the company’s Upstream strategy.

“Leveraging our world-class position and facilities, we’re bringing new barrels online rapidly and efficiently and uncovering more opportunities nearby,” said Looney. “We are focused on growing value and these projects in the Gulf are competitive with any opportunities we have worldwide. This is what we mean by growing advantaged oil.”

Thunder Horse North West is the 17th major project that BP has brought online since the start of 2016. BP expects that new projects beginning production between 2016 and 2021, part of its strategic focus on growing gas and advantaged oil production, will provide it with 900,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day (boe/d) of new production by 2021.

Thunder Horse Northwest Expansion, which achieved first oil just 16 months after being sanctioned, adds a new subsea manifold and two wells tied into existing flowlines two miles to the north of the Thunder Horse platform.

It comes after two other major field expansions at Thunder Horse in recent years. In 2017, an expansion of Thunder Horse’s south field – a four well tie-back to the floating hub – boosted gross production at the field by over 50,000 boe/d. The year before, BP started up a major water injection project at Thunder Horse to further enhance oil production at the field.

Developed with partner ExxonMobil, the Thunder Horse platform sits in more than 6,000 feet of water and began production in June 2008. It has the capacity to handle 250,000 gross barrels of oil and 200 million gross cubic feet of natural gas per day.

Over the last five years, BP’s average daily production in the Gulf of Mexico has increased from under 200,000 boe/d in 2013 to over 300,000 boe/d and is set to grow further with the addition of the Mad Dog Phase 2 platform in 2021 and other upcoming projects.