BP is a London-based oil company with operations in more than 80 countries. The company is one of the biggest in the world, measured by 2011 revenues, and operates in all areas of the oil and gas sectors. In January 2013, a US judge accepted an agreement by BP to plead guilty for its role in the Deepwater Horizon disaster in which 11 workers died and pay a record US$4 billion in criminal penalties for the worst offshore oil spill in US history.
BP drills at 'giant' Gulf field after setback due to spill
BP has begun appraisal drilling in its highly touted Tiber oil prospect in the Gulf of Mexico, the company said on Thursday, more than three years after its massive Macondo blowout and crude spill set back drilling in the basin.
BP confirmed that drilling began on August 3. ConocoPhillips Chief Executive Ryan Lance disclosed it to analysts during a webcast presentation at the Barclays Energy-Power Conference in New York. ConocoPhillips is a minority partner in Tiber.
“We are appraising the Tiber discovery which was made pre-incident in the Gulf of Mexico,” Lance said, referring to BP’s 2010 Macondo oil spill that spewed millions of barrels of crude into the Gulf and prompted a six-month drilling shutdown by the US government.
In 2009, BP touted what it called a “giant” oil discovery in the Tiber field next to its Kaskida field that could hold up to 3 billion barrels of oil.
Both fields are in the Lower Tertiary trend, the Gulf’s deepest, most challenging and most promising deposit that is estimated to hold up to 15 billion barrels of oil.
BP had planned in 2010 to drill appraisal wells in the Tiber field to help gauge how much oil was there. The company’s Macondo rupture and spill prompted the shutdown that delayed those plans as well as drilling by other Gulf oil producers.
That drilling plan resumed last month with the start of the new well in Tiber. BP had already begun exploratory drilling at another prospect near Tiber, called Gila, and that work is continuing.
BP owns the most leases in the Gulf and holding them gives producers the right to drill. The company also is the second-largest oil producer in the basin, behind Royal Dutch Shell.
BP’s biggest new oil project in the Gulf, the Mad Dog Phase 2 development of its Mad Dog field, remains under review because of rising costs from industry inflation, spokesman Brett Clanton said on Thursday.
Rising costs had made the this year plan for Mad Dog Phase 2 less attractive than previously planned. BP calls Mad Dog 2 a “mega project,” meaning it requires a gross investment of more than US$10 billion.
BP already operates an oil and gas platform at its original Mad Dog development that can produce up to 80,000 barrels per day of oil and 60 million cubic feet per day of natural gas.