BP boosts hidden Gulf of Mexico oil estimates to 1 billion barrels

British oil major BP now believes it has discovered 1 billion barrels of oil previously hidden by salt formations across four fields in the Gulf of Mexico.

Last week, the company revealed that a new algorithm, run through its supercomputer, had identified 200 million barrels of oil in a pocket in the Atlantis field.

Richard Morrison, BP’s head of global deep-water response, gives a briefing in 2013. (Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle)

RELATED: BP finds trove of oil in Gulf of Mexico using new subsea imaging

But, on Monday morning, BP’s Gulf of Mexico chief, Richard Morrison, told attendees at the Offshore Technology Conference at NRG Park in Houston that the company has already run similar computations in its other three Gulf fields, Mad Dog, Thunder Horse and Na Kika. BP scientists now believe there are roughly 1 billion barrels under salt formations that couldn’t be identified without the algorithm and supercomputer.

The technology, Morrison said, “has completely transformed what we can illuminate both inside the salt and below.”


Oil fields have had quite the history in the Gulf of Mexico. But the names of some of operating and non-producing wells may surprise you.

Click through to see some of the quirky names behind these money machines. Names appearing in bold are major discoveries which could produce or are wells currently producing.