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BP Thunder Horse Production Ramping Up


HOUSTON - BP announced that it has successfully started production from the third and fourth wells at the Thunder Horse field with production now in excess of 200,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed), signalling the completion of commissioning and commencement of full operation. BP plans to start-up additional production from the Thunder Horse North field in the first half of 2009.

“The strong ramp-up of production from Thunder Horse is an important milestone as we continue to grow production from our strong portfolio of deepwater assets in the Gulf of Mexico,” said Andy Inglis, BP’s chief executive of Exploration and Production. “We have had to overcome significant challenges in developing and applying new technology to produce this ultra-deep, high-pressure, high-temperature field. The capability and technology we have developed will be critical for our next phase of offshore projects.”

“I would like to thank the thousands of people - our BP employees, co-venturer, contractors, suppliers and government agencies - that have all contributed to the delivery of the largest semi-submersible production facility in the world,” added Inglis.

BP is one of the largest producers of domestic oil and gas in the United States and one of the nation’s largest energy investors. “The Gulf of Mexico is an important source of domestic energy, and offshore deepwater developments like Thunder Horse now account for one of every six barrels of oil produced in the United States,” said Bob Malone, chairman and president of BP America.

BP is operator of Thunder Horse with 75 percent ownership. ExxonMobil has a 25 percent working interest.
Note to editors:

* The Thunder Horse platform is located about 150 miles southeast of New Orleans, La. in Mississippi Canyon at a water depth of 6,050 feet (1,844 meters) and is the largest semi-submersible facility in the world at 130,000 tonnes displacement. It has a deck load capacity of 40,000 tonnes and is designed to process and export up to 250,000 barrels of oil and 200 million cubic feet of natural gas per day.

* Production is from reservoirs between 14,000 to 19,000 feet (4,265 to 5,790 meters) below the seabed with reservoir pressures of 13,000 to 18,000 psi (approx 885 to 1255 bar) and reservoir temperatures of 190 to 270 degrees F (88 to 132 degrees C).

* The Thunder Horse Production-Drilling-Quarters (PDQ) allows for subsea wells to be drilled from the platform as well as processing production from the wells.

* Subsea wells are connected to production manifolds on the seafloor and then to the PDQ via riser flowlines. The combination of water depth and the high pressure/ high temperature reservoir conditions required the development of new technology for wellheads, production manifolds, control systems and production risers.

* Oil and gas will be transported 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 has a 75 percent ownership interest in the Proteus and Endymion pipeline systems and a 66 2/3 percent ownership interest in the Okeanos pipeline system.

* BP has a strong portfolio in the Gulf of Mexico and is the largest net leaseholder. In addition to Thunder Horse, BP is also progressing six BP-operated and two co-owner-operated Gulf of Mexico projects: Atlantis North Flank, Tubular Bells, Isabela, Greater Puma, Dorado, King South, Great White and the Ursa/Princess waterflood. BP is also appraising its significant discoveries at Kaskida and Kodiak and recently announced a significant discovery at its Freedom Prospect.

* Major BP developments in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico include: Pompano, 1994; Marlin, 2000; Horn Mountain, 2002; Na Kika, 2003; Holstein, 2004; Mad Dog, 2005, Atlantis, 2007, Thunder Horse 2008.

* Since 1995, total daily deepwater Gulf of Mexico oil production has increased from 151,000 barrels of oil per day (about 2.3 percent of US oil production) to 936,000 barrels per day (about 18 percent of US oil production.)

* A photo of the Thunder Horse production facility is available.


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