BP Makes 8th Oil Discovery in Block 31 Offshore Angola

Sonangol and BP jointly announce the 'Astraea-1' oil discovery in ultra-deepwater Block 31, offshore Angola. Astraea-1 is the eighth successful discovery BP has drilled in Block 31, following Plutao, Saturno, Marte, Venus, Ceres, Palas and Juno. The well is located 10 kilometers to the south east of the Palas discovery, announced earlier in 2005.

Astraea-1 was drilled by GlobalSantaFe's GSF Jack Ryan drillship, in a water depth of 1,496 meters, some 321 kilometers north west of Luanda and reached a total depth of 3,511 meters below sea level.

The well was tested at a maximum rate of 6,513 barrels of oil a day (b/d) through a 40/64-inch choke.

BP is currently evaluating development concepts in the southeastern region of the block.

Sonangol is the concessionaire of Block 31. BP as operator holds 26.67 per cent. Partners 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 operatorship of 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 operates Block 18, in which it has 50 per cent equity. In Block 18 the Greater Plutonio Project is currently being developed.

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

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