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BP Makes Tenth Oil Discovery in the Ultra-deep Water Block 31 Angola


05 May 2006, Sociedade Nacional de Combustíveis de Angola (Sonangol) and BP Exploration (Angola) Limited today announced the ‘Urano’ oil discovery in ultra-deepwater Block 31, offshore Angola. Urano is the tenth successful discovery that BP has drilled in Block 31, following Plutão, Saturno, Marte, Venus, Palas, Ceres, Juno, Astraea and Hebe.

Urano was drilled by the Jack Ryan drill ship, in a water depth of 1,938m, some 345 kilometres northwest of Luanda and reached a total depth of 4,578 metres below sea level. This is the first discovery in Block 31 where the exploration well has been drilled through salt to access the oil bearing sandstone reservoir beneath.
The well was tested at an encouraging maximum flow rate of 1,970 barrels of oil a day (b/d) from a limited test interval through an 86/64 inch choke, confirming the capability of the entire sand interval to flow at a much higher rate.

Sonangol is the concessionaire of Block 31. BP Exploration (Angola) Limited as operator holds 26.67 percent. The other interest owners in Block 31 are Esso Exploration and Production Angola (Block 31) Limited (25 percent), Sonangol E.P. (20 percent), Statoil Angola A.S. (13.33 percent), Marathon International Petroleum Angola Block 31 Limited (10 percent) and TEPA (BLOCK 31), LIMITED, (a subsidiary of the Total Group) with 5 percent.
Notes to editors

* BP’s involvement with Angola goes back to the mid 1970s. During the 1990s, BP made very substantial investments in Angola’s offshore oil and it is now an important part of the company’s upstream portfolio. BP has interests in four blocks with operatorship of two.
* Operatorship of Block 31 was awarded to BP Exploration (Angola) Limited in May 1999. The block covers an area of 5,349 square kilometres and lies in water depths of between 1,500 and 2,500 metres.
* BP also operates Block 18, in which it has a 50 per cent equity. In Block 18 the Greater Plutonio Project is currently being developed and is due to come on stream in 2007.
* BP’s non-operated interests are in Block 15, operated by Esso Exploration Angola (Block 15) Limited (BP 26.67 per cent equity) and Block 17 operated by Total (BP 16.67 per cent equity).
* Salt is commonly associated with oil deposits throughout the world; Angola is no exception. Salt distorts the seismic image and as a consequence, salt-affected areas require significant amounts of additional seismic processing and interpretation prior to drilling.


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