Mad Dog Phase 2 Centerpiece in Gulf of Mexico Starts Oil Production

Mad Dog Phase 2 Centerpiece in Gulf of Mexico Starts Oil Production

BP has announced that it has started oil production at the Argos offshore platform in the Gulf of Mexico.

In a statement posted on its website, the company noted that the move delivers “more energy at a critical time” and strengthens BP’s position “as a leading producer in the deepwater U.S. Gulf of Mexico”.

BP highlighted in the statement that Argos is the company’s fifth platform in the Gulf of Mexico and its first new operated production facility in the region since 2008. Argos has a gross production capacity of up to 140,000 barrels of oil per day and will increase BP’s gross operated production capacity in the Gulf of Mexico by an estimated 20 percent, according to the company, which said it expects to “safely and systematically ramp up production from Argos through 2023”.

In the statement, BP described Argos as its most digitally advanced platform operating in the Gulf of Mexico and as the “centerpiece” of its Mad Dog Phase 2 project, which it noted extends the life of the “super-giant” oil field discovered in 1998. Argos operates in 4,500 feet of water about 190 miles south of New Orleans and will support 250 permanent jobs, according to BP.

“The start-up of Argos is a fantastic achievement that helps deliver our integrated energy strategy – investing in today’s energy system and, at the same time, investing in the energy transition,” BP Chief Executive Bernard Looney said in a company statement.

“As BP’s most digital facility worldwide, applying our latest technologies, Argos will strengthen our key position in the Gulf of Mexico for years to come,” he added.

Starlee Sykes, BP’s Senior Vice President of Gulf of Mexico and Canada, said, “safely starting up the Argos platform is an incredible milestone for BP and a proud moment for our team who delivered the project with an impeccable safety record”.

“Producing some of BP’s highest value, lowest operational emissions barrels, our Gulf of Mexico business has an important role to play in delivering the energy the world needs. I am grateful to everyone who worked on Argos over the years – from discovery to start-up,” Sykes added.

David Lawler, the Chairman and President of BP America said Argos demonstrates BP’s continued commitment to investing in the U.S.

“We’re one of the largest energy producers in the country and are adding more resilient hydrocarbons at a critical moment,” he stated.

Also commenting on Argos, Ewan Drummond, the company’s Senior Vice President of Projects, Production and Operations, said, “projects like Argos don’t just happen”.

“They take years of careful planning, execution excellence, and brilliant teamwork. Argos is key to our strategy of increasing our Gulf of Mexico production to around 400,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day by the middle of this decade,” he added.

BP’s Mad Dog asset partner, Woodside, confirmed the start-up of the Mad Dog Phase 2 project in a statement posted on its website, describing the development as a “significant addition” to Woodside’s Gulf of Mexico position.

In the statement, Woodside CEO Meg O’Neill said production start-up from Mad Dog Phase 2 demonstrates the ongoing value being delivered by Woodside’s merger with BHP’s petroleum business in 2022.

“Mad Dog is one of several low-cost producing assets for Woodside in the region with significant expansion potential and in close proximity to infrastructure and attractive markets,” O’Neill noted in a company statement.

“This makes the Gulf of Mexico a core component of Woodside’s global portfolio and a key part of our strategy to thrive through the energy transition,” O’Neill added.

BP is the operator of Mad Dog with a 60.5 percent working interest. Its partners in the asset include Woodside Energy, which has a 23.9 percent stake and Union Oil Company of California, which is an affiliate of Chevron U.S.A. Inc and has a 15.6 percent interest.

BP Production Start-Ups

The last production start-up announced on BP’s website came on November 29, 2022, when BP Trinidad and Tobago LLC (bpTT) confirmed its Cassia C development had delivered first gas.

Cassia C is bpTT’s first offshore compression platform and its biggest offshore facility, a statement posted on BP’s website at the time noted, adding that the asset will enable bpTT to access and produce low pressure gas resources from the Greater Cassia Area.

The platform is bpTT’s 16th offshore facility and is connected to the existing Cassia hub, which lies approximately 35 miles off Trinidad’s southeast coast, BP highlighted in the statement. Cassia C is expected to produce, at peak, about 200-300 million standard cubic feet a day of gas, according to BP.

“First gas from Cassia C is an important milestone for BP in Trinidad and Tobago,” bpTT President David Campbell said in a company statement at the time.

“This first offshore compression facility will allow us to unlock new resources and bring much-needed gas to market. I am immensely proud of the teams which have been working hard to bring this facility online,” he added.

Commenting on this start up in November last year, Drummond said, “I am proud of our achievement to deliver this project while keeping our people safe throughout a global pandemic”.

“Cassia C is a great example of BP’s resilient hydrocarbons strategy in action – providing the energy the world needs now and helping us invest in the energy transition. I would like to thank our team for their commitment in the safe execution of this project,” he added.

Back in February 2022, BP announced the start-up of the Herschel Expansion project in the Gulf of Mexico.

In a company statement at the time, this development was described as part of BP’s strategy to invest in focused and resilient hydrocarbons. Phase 1 of the Herschel Expansion project comprises the development of a new subsea production system and the first of up to three wells tied to the Na Kika platform, BP noted in the statement. At its peak, this first well is expected to increase platform annual gross production by an estimated 10,600 barrels of oil equivalent a day, according to BP.

“BP continues to grow its position in the Gulf of Mexico by bringing online high-quality projects,” Sykes said in a company statement back in February 2022.

“Like other recent start-ups in the Gulf of Mexico, with Herschel we are tying into existing infrastructure to produce some of the most efficient barrels in the world. Focusing our hydrocarbons business on the highest quality resources such as these sits at the heart of BP’s strategy,” Sykes added.

Commenting on the Herschel start up, Drummond said in a statement at the time, “Herschel is a great example of the type of fast-payback, high-return tie-back opportunities we continue to deliver as we focus and high-grade our hydrocarbons portfolio”.

“I would like to thank the team for their commitment in the safe and early execution of this project,” he added.

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