BP has approved a major expansion at its Gulf of Mexico deepwater Atlantis field, and also found "significant" other oil resources that include a recently identified 1 billion more barrels in place at its storied Thunder Horse platform, the company said Tuesday.
Those all may spur future development around four US Gulf deepwater production hubs BP operates, the company said in a statement.
The $1.3 billion Phase 3 Atlantis expansion came about after recent BP innovations in seismic imaging and reservoir characterization identified an additional 400 million barrels of oil in place at the field, BP said.
Moreover, the same advanced technology has now revealed an additional 1 billion barrels of oil in place at Thunder Horse field, for a total of nearly 3 billion barrels of oil eequivalent, according to BP slides.
"We are building on our world-class position, upgrading the resources at our fields through technology, productivity and exploration success," Bernard Looney, BP's upstream chief executive, said.
Looney added that just 12% of the hydrocarbons in place across its Gulf portfolio have been produced so far.
"We can see many opportunities for further development, offering the potential to continue to create significant value through the middle of the next decade and beyond," he added.
Thunder Horse, another of BP's four operated platforms in the Gulf -- the two others are Mad Dog and Na Kika -- is sited in 6,050 feet of water and is also offshore Louisiana. ExxonMobil is BP's 25% partner at that field.