BP Ramps Up Production from Thunder Horse in Deepwater GOM

BP has successfully started production from the third and fourth wells at the Thunder Horse field with production now in excess of 200,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed), signalling the completion of commissioning and commencement of full operation. BP plans to start-up additional production from the Thunder Horse North field in the first half of 2009.

Located 150 miles southeast of New Orleans in Mississippi Canyon in a water depth of 1,844 meters, the Thunder Horse platform is the world's largest semisubmersible facility and is designed to process and export 250,000 barrels of oil and 200 million cubic feet of natural gas per day.

Moreover, the Thunder Horse Production-Drilling-Quarters allows for subsea wells to be drilled from the platform as well as processing production from the wells.

"The strong ramp-up of production from Thunder Horse is an important milestone as we continue to grow production from our strong portfolio of deepwater assets in the Gulf of Mexico," said Andy Inglis, BP's chief executive of Exploration and Production. "We have had to overcome significant challenges in developing and applying new technology to produce this ultra-deep, high-pressure, high-temperature field. The capability and technology we have developed will be critical for our next phase of offshore projects."

"I would like to thank the thousands of people - our BP employees, co-venturer, contractors, suppliers and government agencies - that have all contributed to the delivery of the largest semi-submersible production facility in the world," added Inglis.

BP is one of the largest producers of domestic oil and gas in the United States and one of the nation's largest energy investors. "The Gulf of Mexico is an important source of domestic energy, and offshore deepwater developments like Thunder Horse now account for one of every six barrels of oil produced in the United States," said Bob Malone, chairman and president of BP America.

BP is operator of Thunder Horse with 75 percent ownership. ExxonMobil has a 25 percent working interest.