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BP Announces Major Discovery in the Gulf of Mexico

BP has just announced a major oil discovery in the Gulf of Mexico, the first major discovery to be made in the region since US regulators lifted the ban on drilling that was put in place after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill.

In a press release, BP stated that it had hit oil at a depth of 29,221 feet (about 8907 metres) at the Gila prospect, nearly 300 miles off the south-west coast of New Orleans.

Related article: BP Pushing the Limits of Technology to Develop Ultra-Deep Fields

BP now plans to continue with appraisal drilling at the Gila prospect, co-owned with ConocoPhillips, in order to better determine the size, flow rate, and potential economics of the discovery.

This is the third large find that BP has made in the Paleogene play in the Gulf of Mexico, after the Kaskida in 2006, and Tiber in 2009.

Mike Daly, BP’s Global Head of Exploration, stated that “Gila continues our successful drill out of the prolific Paleogene play system in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. Subject to successful appraisal, Gila, Tiber and Kaskida together offer the potential for significant future oil developments in the Keathley Canyon area.”

BP Gulf of Mexico

Richard Morrison, BP’s Vice President of Production for the Gulf of Mexico, said that “the Gila discovery is a further sign that momentum is returning to BP's drilling operations and well execution in the Gulf of Mexico.”

Related article: Shell Abandons Plan to Build Giant Gas-to-Liquids Plant in the US

The Guardian reports that 2013 has been BPs most successful year in nearly a decade for oil exploration, drilling 15 new wells, and making seven significant discoveries.

Over the next ten years BP plans to spend $4 billion a year to develop prospects in the Gulf of Mexico, exploring and drilling new wells. Whilst at the same time it will continue to battle a ban that was placed on it after the 2010 disaster, which prevents it from competing for US government contracts.

By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com



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