President Obama's Oil Spew Commission will determine the future of deepwater oil drilling off America's coasts. BP is the largest deepwater producer in the Gulf of Mexico.
BP's 2010 20-F states:
Deepwater Gulf of Mexico:The report shows oil production (thousands of barrels per day) from the Gulf:
Deepwater Gulf of Mexico is our largest area of growth in the US. In addition, we are the largest producer and acreage holder in the region.
Significant events were:
• In May 2009, BP announced it had begun production from the Dorado (BP 75% and operator) and King South (BP 100%) projects. Both projects are subsea tiebacks to the existing BP Marlin Tension Leg Platform (TLP) infrastructure. Dorado comprises three new subsea wells located about two miles from the Marlin TLP. King South comprises a single subsea well located 18 miles from the Marlin TLP. Both projects leverage existing subsea and topsides infrastructure and the latest subsea and drilling technology to enable the efficient development of the fields. Dorado utilizes dual completion technology enabling production from five Miocene zones and King South is produced through the existing King subsea pump.
• In June 2009, the Atlantis Phase 2 (BP 56%) project achieved first oil ahead of schedule, signalling the official start-up.
• In July 2009, BP announced the drilling of a successful appraisal well in a previously untested southern segment of the Mad Dog field (BP 60.5% and operator). The 826-5 well is located in the Green Canyon block 826, approximately 100 miles south of Grand Isle, Louisiana, in about 5,100 feet of water. The results from this well continue the successful phased development of the Mad Dog field and build upon the success from 2008.
• In September 2009, BP announced the Tiber discovery in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico (BP 62% and operator). The discovery well, located in Keathley Canyon block 102, approximately 250 miles south-east of Houston, is in 4,132 feet of water. It was drilled to a total depth of approximately 35,055 feet making it the deepest oil and gas discovery well ever drilled. The well found oil in multiple Lower Tertiary reservoirs. Appraisal will be required to determine the size and commerciality of the discovery.
|Gulf of Mexico Deepwater|
BP operates wells in conjunction with other oil companies, who have a vested stake in keeping production going.
ConocoPhillips' 2010 10-K states:
During 2009, we participated in two significant discoveries in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. We hold an 18 percent interest in the Tiber discovery and a 40 percent interest in the Shenandoah discovery. Both discoveries require future appraisal drilling. In addition, we were the successful bidder on 27 blocks in the March and August 2009 federal offshore lease sales. At year end, we had interests in 287 lease blocks totaling 1.1 million net acres in the Gulf of Mexico. In January 2010, we exchanged a 25 percent working interest in 50 of our leases in the Chukchi Sea for cash consideration and additional working interests in the Lower Tertiary play of the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.
Anadarko operates Shenandoah with a 30% working interest. Co-owners of the discovery include ConocoPhillips (40%), Cobalt International Energy L.P. (20%) and Marathon (10%).
BP is operator of the massive Tiber project with a stake of 62 percent, while Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Brazil’s state-controlled oil company, holds 20 percent and ConocoPhillips 18 percent.
Oil Catastrophe Commission co-chair sits on ConocoPhillips Board
William Reilly received roughly $250,000 in compensation from ConocoPhillips in 2009. He controls over $2 million worth of ConocoPhillips stock. Reilly has a direct financial stake in ongoing drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. This fact isn't mentioned in interviews or announcements, which market Reilly's EPA background or World Wild Life Fund credentials.
Update: BP bought search engine phrases to direct people to their corporate website on oil catastrophe. BP almost lost their Thunderhorse well to a 2003 accident, only blowout preventers worked to stave off catastrophe.