June 27, 2021 [Houston Chronicle] -BP has started production from two new deepwater wells in the Gulf of Mexico, furthering its plans to add 900,000 barrels of oil and natural gas production per day by year-end.
The two wells, at the Manuel project site about 140 miles off the coast of New Orleans, are expected to boost production from the Na Kika platform by an estimated 20,100 barrels of oil and gas per day. The British oil major on Wednesday said it added a new subsea production system to the platform, which will extract oil and gas from reservoirs 21,000 feet below the gulf. BP and Shell each hold a 50 percent working interest in the Manuel project.
“Manuel is exactly the type of high-value project that is critical to growing our business here in the Gulf of Mexico,” said Starlee Sykes, BP’s senior vice president of the Gulf of Mexico and Canada. “BP’s focused and resilient hydrocarbons business is a key pillar of our strategy.”
BP’s additional oil production comes on the heels of a rapid rise in the price of crude, which just a year ago, during the pandemic, had sunk below zero. The price of West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark, on Wednesday settled at $73.08. Global benchmark Brent was trading above $75.
Although BP has moved aggressively into wind and solar projects over the past year, the company plans to expand its traditional oil and gas business in the Gulf of Mexico, where BP is a leading producer. BP operates four production platforms in the gulf: Thunder Horse, Atlantis, Mad Dog and Na Kika, with a fifth platform, Argos, expected to come online in 2022.
BP expects to increase its Gulf of Mexico production to more than 400,000 barrels of oil per day by the middle of this decade, up from more than 300,000 barrels of oil per day in 2019.
The oil giant has said it plans to use its revenue from its oil and gas business to help fund its pivot from an international oil company into an international energy company. It announced plans last year to become a net-zero emissions company by 2050 or sooner, promising to gradually reduce its oil and gas production as it shifts toward renewable and green energy sources.
BP next year expects to launch its new Argos platform, which in April was transported from a South Korea manufacturer to a fabrication yard near Corpus Christi where it is being finished. The 27-story-tall floating semi-submersible, one of BP’s largest, is expected to produce up to 140,000 barrels of oil and gas per day, boosting BP’s output in the Gulf by about a quarter. The platform is BP’s first addition to the Gulf since 2008, before the deadly Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil leak in 2010.
“The safe production of resilient hydrocarbons in the basins we know best is core to advancing our strategy to transform into an integrated energy company,” said Ewan Drummond, BP’s senior vice president of projects.
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