BP says it has made a significant find in the Gulf of Mexico – as it prepares to celebrate its most successful year for new field exploration in a decade.
The British supermajor has struck oil for the third time in the region, this time at the Gila prospect, around 300miles southwest of New Orleans.
The deepwater exploration well was drilled to a depth of 29,211 ft, and found multiple Paleogene-aged reservoir sands.
Now appraisal work is underway on the find to determine just how big the discovery is.
“Gila continues our successful drill out of the prolific Paleogene play system in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico,” said BP’s global head of exploation, Mike Daly.
“Subject to successful appraisal, Gila, Tiber and Kaskida together offer the potential for significant future oil developments in the Keathley Canyon area.”
The firm’s two similar finds in the Gulf of Mexico have yielded significant results for BP, with the 2009 Tiber discovery believed to contain up to 6billion barrels of oil, and the Kaskida find in 2006 which contains 3billion.
BP owns a majority interest in the prospect, along with ConocoPhillips.
The find comes as the company announced its most successful exploration year in a decade, with seven potentially commercial discoveries made from 15 wildcat wells.
Among the significant finds were the Pitu discovery and Pitanga wells off Brazil, and the Lontra find off Angola, which it holds a 30% stake in.
“The exploration results that BP has seen in the fourth quarter alone include a new play opener in a frontier basin offshore Brazil, together with discoveries in emerging plays in our production heartlands of Angola and the Gulf of Mexico,” sad Daly.
“We are very pleased that both these frontier and core portfolios are starting to deliver and anticipate leaving the year with nine further wells operational, sustaining our recent momentum into 2014.”