BP expanding Thunder Horse a third time

(Courtesy BP) BP's Thunder Horse platform

BP is once again expanding its Thunder Horse field 150 miles southeast of New Orleans in the Gulf of Mexico, this time adding 50,000 barrels of daily oil equivalent.

The phase two project is BP’s third on Thunder Horse—one of the largest fields in the Gulf of Mexico—in as many years. It is expected to come online in 2021. BP remains the Gulf’s largest producer, with more than 300,000 barrels of daily production in the region.

This upstream major project will add two new subsea production units roughly two miles to the south of the existing Thunder Horse platform with two new production wells in the near term. Eventually, eight wells will be drilled as part of the overall development.

“This latest expansion at Thunder Horse is another example of how the Gulf of Mexico is leading the way in advantaged oil growth for BP, unlocking significant value and safely growing a high-margin business,” said Starlee Sykes, BP’s regional president for the Gulf of Mexico and Canada.

An earlier South Expansion project at Thunder Horse, which came online just over a decade ago, started up ahead of schedule and under budget in early 2017 and raised output at the facility by an additional 50,000 boe/d. Last October, Thunder Horse Northwest Expansion project came online and is expected to boost production by an estimated 30,000 boe/d. And in 2016, BP started up a significant water injection project at Thunder Horse to enhance oil production at the field.

Earlier this year, BP announced that recent breakthroughs in advanced seismic imaging had identified an additional 1 billion barrels of oil in place at the Thunder Horse field, highlighting the potential for further development opportunities in the future.

Over the last five years, BP’s net production in the Gulf of Mexico has increased by more than 60%, rising from less than 200,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2013 to more than 300,000 today. BP anticipates its production in the region growing to around 400,000 barrels of oil equivalent through the middle of the next decade.