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BP Says Seismic Breakthrough Helped It Find More Oil In Gulf Of Mexico

BP has identified more than 200 million barrels of additional resources at its Atlantis field in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico by using a new seismic imaging approach, the UK’s oil major said on Thursday.

The new seismic imaging technology helped the company to obtain sharper and clearer images collected via seismic surveys, especially in areas below the earth’s surface that have so far been obscured or distorted by complex salt structures. The algorithms applied on seismic data enhance the so-called Full Waveform Inversion (FWI), which matches seismic simulations with existing seismic data to produce high-quality subsurface images, BP said. The company’s algorithms allowed data analysis to be completed in a few weeks, instead of in a year.

“This technological breakthrough has essentially allowed our team to find a new oil field within our existing Atlantis field,” Bernard Looney, chief executive of BP’s global upstream business, said in the statement.

Following the results obtained in the Gulf of Mexico, BP is deploying the seismic imaging technology in its global operations, the manager added.

BP is now implementing the tech to other fields in the Gulf of Mexico, and in Azerbaijan, Angola, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Related: Space Mining: The Final Frontier For Oil Countries

The Atlantis field, operated by BP in partnership with BHP Billiton, is some 150 miles south of New Orleans, and has a production capacity of around 200,000 barrels of oil and 180 million cubic feet of gas per day.

In the Gulf of Mexico, BP returned to sanctioning new projects late last year, more than six years after the Deepwater Horizon disaster. In December, the company sanctioned the Mad Dog Phase 2 project. In January this year, BP said that it started up the Thunder Horse South Expansion 11 months ahead of schedule and US$150 million under budget.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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