BP aims to boost production from Thunder Horse in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico

Offshore staff

HOUSTONBP has started up a major water injection project at its Thunder Horse platform, which aims to extend the production life of one of the biggest deepwater fields in the US Gulf of Mexico.

The project will boost recovery of oil and natural gas from one of the Thunder Horse field’s three main reservoirs. 

Over the past three years, BP refurbished the platform’s existing topsides and subsea equipment while also drilling two water-injection wells at the site. From those wells, water will be injected into the reservoir to increase pressure and enhance production. The improvements are expected to allow the Thunder Horse facility to recover an additional 65 MMboe over time, the operator says.

The project is the second of five major upstream projects BP expects to bring online in 2016. It is part of its plan to add approximately 800,000 b/d of oil of new production globally from projects starting up between 2015 and 2020.

The Thunder Horse platform, which sits in more than 6,000 ft (1,829 m) of water and began production in June 2008, has the capacity to handle 250,000 b/d of oil and 200 MMcf/d of natural gas. The facility continued to operate while work on the water injection project was under way, BP noted.

Thunder Horse is operated by BP with a 75% working interest. Exxon Mobil is the co-owner with a 25% working interest.

The company also has two other major deepwater GoM projects under way. The Thunder Horse South Expansion project will add a new subsea drill center roughly 2 mi (3 km) from the original platform. In addition, BP continues to design the Mad Dog Phase 2 project, which will develop resources in the central area of the Mad Dog field through a subsea development tied back to a new floating production hub consisting of up to 24 wells from four drill centers.


Thunder Horse
Thunder Horse platform in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. (Photo courtesy BP)

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