London-based BP PLC said Jan. 8 it approved a $1.3 billion expansion project at the Atlantis field in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and has identified an additional 1 billion barrels of oil at the Thunder Horse field due to new seismic technology.
Atlantis Phase 3 will include the construction of a new subsea production system from eight new wells that will be tied into the current platform located 150 miles south of New Orleans. Scheduled to come onstream in 2020, at its peak, the project is expected to boost production at the platform by an estimated 38,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.
"BP's Gulf of Mexico business is key to our strategy of growing production of advantaged high-margin oil," BP's Upstream Chief Executive Bernard Looney said. "And these fields are still young — only 12% of the hydrocarbons in place across our Gulf portfolio have been produced so far. We can see many opportunities for further development, offering the potential to continue to create significant value through the middle of the next decade and beyond."
Additionally, BP said the application of the same new technology has led to two new discoveries at the Manuel and Nearly Headless Nick prospects that could provide further tie-back development opportunities to the Na Kika production facility.
BP holds a 50% stake in the Manuel discovery, which is located on Mississippi Canyon block 520. Royal Dutch Shell PLC holds the other 50% interest in Manuel. BP has a 20.25% stake in the Nearly Headless Nick discovery on Mississippi Canyon block 387. Its partners in Nearly Headless Nick include LLOG Exploration Co. LLC, Kosmos Energy Ltd. and Ridgewood Energy Corp.
BP is the top oil producer in the Gulf and anticipates its production growing to around 400,000 boe/d through the middle of the next decade. Over the last five years, BP's net production in the Gulf of Mexico has increased by more than 60%, rising from less than 200,000 boe/d in 2013 to more than 300,000 boe/d currently.
BP is also taking a look at potential development at Atlantis Phase 4 and 5, and expanding the Thunder Horse, Na Kika and Mad Dog fields.