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BP starts up Thunder Horse expansion early

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BP has announced the early start-up of their Thunder Horse Northwest Expansion project this week, in what is the fourth major BP upstream project to have begun production this year.
The Thunder Horse platform jointly developed by BP and ExxonMobil.
(The Thunder Horse platform. Image via BP).

The new project is expected to boost production at Thunder Horse by an estimated 30,000 boe/d at its peak, taking gross output at one of the largest oil fields in the Gulf of Mexico to over 200,000 boe/d. Originally planned for start-up in early 2019, the project is four months ahead of schedule and 15 percent under budget- another sign that oil majors are getting to grips with their capital-intensive projects in a lower oil price environment.

This most recent expansion of Thunder Horse follows two other previous expansions in recent years. In 2017, an expansion of Thunder Horse’s south field- a four well tie-back to the floating hub- boosted gross production at the field by over 50,000 boe/d. The year before, BP started up a major water injection project at Thunder Horse to further enhance oil production at the field.
The Thunder Horse Northwest Expansion project in action.
(The Thunder Horse Northwest Expansion project in action. Image via BP).

Commenting on the completion of the expansion project, Starlee Sykes, regional president of BP’s Gulf of Mexico and Canada business, said:

“This latest expansion of Thunder Horse is another important milestone in our efforts to maximise value from our assets in the Gulf. Over the past five years we’ve driven up production through safe and reliable operations and bringing on new deepwater projects in a more efficient and standardized way. All this hard work is now delivering results. Our Gulf of Mexico business is thriving”.
The Thunder Horse Northwest expansion project has been completed 4 months ahead of schedule.
(The Thunder Horse Northwest expansion project- pictured here- has been completed 4 months ahead of schedule. Image via BP).

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 cubic feet of natural gas per day.

BP currently operates four large production platforms in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico; Thunder Horse, Atlantis, Mad Dog, and Na Kika. 

Bernard Looney, BP’s Upstream chief executive, also commented on the completion of the Thunder Horse expansion, saying:

“Our business in the Gulf of Mexico demonstrates our Upstream strategy in action. Leveraging our world-class position and facilities, we are bringing new barrels online rapidly and efficiently, and uncovering more opportunities nearby. We are focused on growing value and these projects in the Gulf are competitive with any opportunities we have worldwide. This is what we mean by growing advantaged oil”.
BP's Thunder Horse Northwest Expansion project is one of many projects which will radically increase oil production from the Gulf of Mexico.
(Image via BP).

Over the last five years, BP’s net average daily production in the Gulf of Mexico has increased from under 200,000 boe/d in 2013 to over 300,000 boe/d and is set to grow further with the addition of the Mad Dog Phase 2 platform in 2021 and other upcoming projects.

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Tags: Oil & Gas
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BP starts up Thunder Horse expansion early - Time to read 3 min
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