BP PLC announced Oct. 18 it began pumping oil and natural gas from a project that will add at its peak 15,000 net barrels per day of oil equivalent to the oil major's deepwater Gulf of Mexico production.
The Thunder Horse Northwest Expansion project began operating four months ahead of schedule and came in 15% under budget, the company said. The project is the fourth to come online globally after the 45,000 net boe/d Atoll natural gas project in Egypt, the 110,000 net boe/d Shah Deniz 2 natural gas project Azerbaijan, and the 20,000 net boe/d Tass expansion in Eastern Siberia, Russia.
The Thunder Horse Northwest Expansion project consists of a new subsea manifold and two wells tied into existing flow lines two miles to the north of the Thunder Horse semi-submersible platform moored approximately 150 miles southeast of New Orleans in water that is more than 6,000 feet deep.
A 2017 expansion of Thunder Horse's south field consisting of a four-well tieback to the platform added more than 50,000 boe/d of gross production, BP said. In 2016, the company began operating a water injection project to enhance oil recovery at the field.
The Thunder Horse platform began production in 2008 and has a capacity of 250,000 gross barrels of oil per day and 200 gross MMcf/d of natural gas.
Since 2013, the company said its net average daily production in the Gulf of Mexico has grown from under 200,000 boe/d to over 300,000 boe/d, and it expects to continue that growth through additional projects in the area.
In addition to the Thunder Horse platform, BP operates three large production platforms in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico — Atlantis, Mad Dog and Na Kika — and holds interests in four non-operated hubs – Mars, Olympus, Ursa and Great White.
Globally, the company expects that projects beginning production between 2016 and 2021 will add 900,000 boe/d to its portfolio by 2021.
BP and Exxon Mobil Corp. hold respective 75% and 25% interests in the Thunder Horse field.