BP starts production from Thunder Horse South expansion project

BP PLC has started production from the Thunder Horse South expansion project in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. It’s expected to boost production at the Thunder Horse facility by an estimated 50,000 boe/d gross.

The project adds a subsea production system roughly 2 miles south of the existing Thunder Horse platform. The system is a collection point for wells connected to the platform by two 11,000-ft flowlines installed on the seabed in late 2016.

The first new well for the project tapped into the highest amount of hydrocarbon-bearing sand seen to date at Thunder Horse field, with drilling results confirming more than 500 ft of net pay.

The Thunder Horse platform sits in more than 6,000 ft of water and began production in June 2008 (OGJ Online, Dec. 22, 2008). It has the capacity to handle 250,000 bbl of oil gross and 200 MMcfd gross of natural gas. The facility continued to operate during construction and installation of the new subsea production and pipeline system.

BP last year launched a major water injection project at Thunder Horse field that will allow for the recovery of an additional 65 million boe (OGJ Online, May 25, 2016).

Thunder Horse is operated by BP with 75% working interest. Partner ExxonMobil Corp. holds the remaining interest.

BP says the Thunder Horse South expansion was completed more than 15% below budget and 11 months ahead of schedule by relying on proven standardized equipment and technology rather than building customized components.

“Thunder Horse South expansion, along with our recent approval of the $9-billion Mad Dog Phase 2 platform, demonstrates that the US Gulf of Mexico remains a key part of our global portfolio today and for many years to come,” said Bob Dudley, BP chief executive officer.

Mad Dog Phase 2’s floating production platform is slated to be built by Samsung Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. (OGJ Online, Jan. 13, 2017). The project was sanctioned late last year.

In the deepwater gulf, BP operates Thunder Horse, Atlantis, Mad Dog, and Na Kika, and holds interests in non-operated hubs Mars, Olympus, Ursa, and Great White.

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