BP has announced the start-up of the deepwater Thunder Horse South Expansion project in the Gulf of Mexico, 11 months ahead of schedule and $150 million under budget.
The project is expected to boost production at the facility by an estimated 50,000 gross barrels of oil equivalent per day, further increasing output at one of the largest oil fields in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Thunder Horse South Expansion project adds a new subsea production system roughly two miles to the south of the existing Thunder Horse platform. The system is a collection point for wells connected to the Thunder Horse platform by two 11,000-foot flowlines installed on the seabed in late 2016.
The project was completed more than 15 percent below budget by relying on proven standardized equipment and technology rather than building customized components, says BP.
“Thunder Horse South Expansion - along with our recent approval of the $9 billion Mad Dog Phase 2 platform - demonstrates that the U.S. Gulf of Mexico remains a key part of our global portfolio today and for many years to come,” said BP chief executive Bob Dudley.
“This project also marks the first of several major upstream start-ups expected before the end of this year and a major step toward our goal of adding 800,000 barrels of new production by 2020,” he said.
Developed with partner ExxonMobil, the Thunder Horse platform sits in more than 6,000 feet of water and began production in June 2008. It has the capacity to handle 250,000 gross barrels of oil and 200 million gross cubic feet per day of natural gas. The facility continued to operate during construction and installation of the new subsea production and pipeline system.
Thunder Horse is operated by BP with a 75 percent working interest. ExxonMobil is a partner with a 25 percent working interest. During 2016, BP successfully launched a major water injection project in its Thunder Horse field that will allow for the recovery of an additional 65 million barrels of oil equivalent.
BP is one of the largest leaseholders in the Gulf with acreage in about 400 lease blocks. In the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, BP operates four large production platforms - Thunder Horse, Atlantis, Mad Dog and Na Kika, and holds interests in four non-operated hubs - Mars, Olympus, Ursa and Great White.
BP is the largest investor in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico over the past 10 years. Between 2013 and 2016, BP’s average daily production in U.S. Gulf of Mexico increased from 189,000 net barrels of oil equivalent to 264,000 net barrels.