BP Plc is seeking to extend the production life of one of its biggest operated deepwater U.S. Gulf of Mexico fields with a major water injection project.
The company announced Wednesday it will seek to boost oil and gas recovery from one of the Thunder Horse field’s three main reservoirs. The water injection project is part of BP’s strategy of continued investment in its existing deepwater Gulf of Mexico production hubs, BP said in a May 25 press statement.
BP spent the past three years refurbishing the platform’s existing topsides and subsea equipment while also drilling two water injection wells at the site, BP said in the press statement. Operations at the facility continued while the project was underway. Water will be injected from these wells into the reservoir to boost pressure and enhance production. BP said the improvements should allow the Thunder Horse facility to recover an additional 65 million barrels of oil equivalent over time.
Thunder Horse is the second of five major upstream projects BP expects to bring online this year, and is part of the company’s plan to bring about 800,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day of new production worldwide from projects starting up between 2015 and 2020.
The Thunder Horse facility, which sits in over 6,000 feet of water, started production in June 2008. It has a production capacity of 250,000 barrels of oil and gas 200 million cubic feet per day of natural gas.
BP also is pursuing the Thunder Horse South expansion project, in which it will add a new subsea drill center approximately two miles from the Thunder Horse platform. The company also continues design work on the Mad Dog Phase 2 project. Through this project, BP 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.
Deepwater exploration and production activity has suffered due to low oil prices, a Wood Mackenzie analyst told attendees at the Offshore Technology Conference earlier this month. The high cost of deepwater E&P and other challenges have prompted operators to pull back on greenfield development and focus on lower cost, more flexible investment options such as onshore shale. Bur operators are continuing to pursue incremental brownfield deepwater investment, and will continue to sanction competitive projects, albeit with tougher screening criteria. In some cases, operators are redesigning projects to make them more competitive at lower oil prices.
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