Mad Dog Platform. Photo courtesy BP
LONDON – BP has added two drilling rigs to the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, bringing its fleet there to a company record of nine rigs.
One of the rigs is a new ultra-deepwater drillship known as the West Auriga, which is under long-term contract to BP from Seadrill Ltd. The vessel, capable of operating in up to 12,000 ft (3,658 m) of water, has begun development drilling work at BP's Thunder Horse field.
The other is a reconstructed drilling rig on BP's Mad Dog oil and gas production platform. It replaces the original rig on the platform that was badly damaged and left inoperable by Hurricane Ike in 2008. With this new rig, the platform has resumed development drilling at the Mad Dog field complex.
BP is also advancing a strong pipeline of future development projects in the deepwater Gulf. In April, the company started up the Atlantis North expansion, the first of seven additional wells to be tied back to the existing Atlantis platform. At Na Kika, another field expansion is planned, following the successful startup last year of the Galapagos development, a subsea tieback to the Na Kika production facility. BP is also pursuing plans for a second phase of the Mad Dog field.