BP Makes Twelfth Ultra-Deepwater Discovery in Angola's Block 31


Block 31, Ultra-Deepwater Angola
(Click to Enlarge)
Sonangol and BP have made an oil discovery with the Terra well in ultra-deepwater Block 31, offshore Angola. Terra is the twelfth discovery that BP has drilled in Block 31. The well is located approximately 30 km NW of the recently announced Titania discovery.

Terra was drilled by the Jack Ryan drillship, in a water depth of 2,328 meters, some 411 kilometers northwest of Luanda and reached a total depth of 6,118m TVD below sea level. This is the third discovery in Block 31 where the exploration well has been drilled through salt to access the oil-bearing reservoir beneath.

Well test results indicate anticipated flow capacity in excess of 5000 barrels a day under production conditions.

Sonangol is the concessionaire of Block 31. BP Exploration (Angola) Limited as operator holds 26.67 per cent. The other interest owners in Block 31 are Esso Exploration and Production Angola (Block 31) Limited (25 per cent), Sonangol E.P. (20 per cent), Statoil Angola A.S. (13.33 per cent), Marathon International Petroleum Angola Block 31 Limited (10 per cent) and TEPA (BLOCK 31) LIMITED, (a subsidiary of the Total Group) with 5 per cent.

BP's involvement with Angola goes back to the mid 1970s. During the 1990s, BP made very substantial investments in Angola's offshore oil and it is now an important part of the company's upstream portfolio. BP has interests in four blocks with operated interests in two.

Operatorship of Block 31 was awarded to BP Exploration (Angola) Limited in May 1999. The block covers an area of 5,349 square kilometers and lies in water depths of between 1,500 and 2,500 meters.

BP also has operated interests (BP 50.00 per cent equity) in Block 18 where the Greater Plutonio Project is currently being developed and is due to come on stream in 2007.

BP has non-operated interests in Block 15, operated by Esso Exploration Angola (Block 15) Limited (BP 26.67 per cent equity) and in Block 17 operated by Total (BP 16.67 per cent equity).

Oil deposits are commonly associated with salt throughout the world; Angola is no exception. Salt distorts the seismic image and as a consequence, salt-affected areas require significant amounts of additional seismic processing and interpretation prior to drilling.

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