BP doubles estimate for Mad Dog field

BP says it has drilled a successful appraisal well in a previously untested northern segment of the Mad Dog field in the Gulf of Mexico, leading it to double the size of the potential resource.

The well, drilled by BHP Billiton on behalf of the unit operator BP, is in Green Canyon block 738, about 140 miles south of Grand Isle, LA., in about 4,500 feet of water.

The well encountered about 166 net feet of hydrocarbons in the objective Miocene hydrocarbon-bearing sands and discovered an oil column of more than 300 feet.

Combined with successful appraisals in Mad Dog South in 2009 and pending further tests, BP now estimates the Mad Dog field complex has up to four billion barrels of oil equivalent.

“With these additional hydrocarbon resources north of the main field, Mad Dog has been firmly established as a giant field in BP’s Gulf of Mexico portfolio, rivalling Thunder Horse in size of resource,” said Bob Dudley, BP group chief executive.

BP’s Thunder Horse is the world’s largest deepwater production unit in the world, with the capacity to process 250,000 barrels of oil and 200 million cubic feet of gas a day.

Production began in the Mad Dog Field complex in 2005, with appraisal drilling of the Mad Dog South field in 2008 and 2009.

The size of Mad Dog South finds in 2009 has BP planning to add another spar production facility to the area with a capacity of 120,000 to 140,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

“Coupled with the recent exploration success at the discovery at the Moccasin prospect, located in Keathley Canyon, the Mad Dog result re-emphasizes the exploration and development potential of the Gulf of Mexico and the region’s ability to continue to deliver material projects for BP,” Dudley added.

BP has a 60.5 per cent working interest in Mad Dog, BHP a 23.9 percent interest, and Chevron Corporation a 15.6 per cent interest.