BP ramps up Thunder Horse production

BP America has ramped up production by more than 100,000 boe/d from its Thunder Horse platform in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico through new wells.

Uchenna Izundu
OGJ International Editor

LONDON, Apr. 17 -- BP America has ramped up production by more than 100,000 boe/d from its Thunder Horse platform in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico through new wells.

Last month, the $1 billion platform produced more than 300,000 boe/d from seven wells. In December, production was over 200,000 boe/d from the third and fourth wells, signaling completion of commissioning and full operation. Thunder Horse now accounts for 1 of every 6 bbl of oil produced in the US.

Another two wells are to be added later this year to Thunder Horse, the gulf's largest deepwater producing asset, which is 150 miles southeast of New Orleans. The additions are key to boosting BP's future production in the area.

Designed to process 250,000 b/d and 200 MMcfd of gas, Thunder Horse produced its first shipment of oil last June. Operations with the technologically innovative project had been delayed by years due to technical problems and hurricanes. The field was originally discovered in 1999 in a reservoir 3 miles beneath mud, rock, and salt with pressures of 13,000-18,000 psi and temperatures of 88-135° C.

The Thunder Horse semisubmersible platform is in 6,050 ft of water on Mississippi Canyon Blocks 778 and 822. It has a deck load capacity of 40,000 tonnes. Production-drilling-quarters (PDQ) functions enable drilling subsea wells from the platform and processing production from the wells. Subsea wells are connected to production manifolds on the seafloor and then to the PDQ via riser flowlines.

Production is delivered to existing shelf and onshore pipelines via the Proteus and Endymion oil pipeline systems and the Okeanos gas pipeline system, which are part of the Mardi Gras Transportation System, the highest capacity deepwater pipeline system ever built.

BP operates the asset with 75% ownership and ExxonMobil Corp. has a 25%.

Contact Uchenna Izundu at uchennai@pennwell.com.

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