BP has announced the start-up of the first of three wells at the Herschel Expansion project in the Gulf of Mexico.
Herschel is the first of four major projects on slate for delivery across the globe this year.
Phase 1 of the Herschel Expansion project comprises a new subsea production system and is the first of up to three wells tied to the Na Kika platform.
At its peak, this first well is expected to increase platform annual gross production by an estimated 10,600 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd).
BP and Shell each hold a 50% interest in the Herschel development.
BP senior vice president for Gulf of Mexico and Canada, Starlee Sykes, said: “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.
“Doing so safely, ahead of schedule and under budget is testament to the caliber of the team.”
The BP-operated well has been drilled to a depth of approximately 19,000 feet, is located in the Mississippi Canyon block 520, southeast of the Na Kika platform and approximately 140 miles off the coast of New Orleans.
The project also provides infrastructure for future well tie-in opportunities.
BP currently operates four production platforms in the US Gulf – Thunder Horse, Atlantis, Mad Dog and Na Kika – while a fifth, Argos, is expected online in 2022.
The supermajor expects incoming projects to buoy its production in the area to about 400,000 boepd net by the mid-2020s.
It follows the start-up of the Manuel project last year, which included a new subsea production system for two new wells tied into the Na Kika platform.
BP SVP projects, production and operations, Ewan Drummond, added: “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.”