BP's Thunder Horse South Expansion Project Comes Online

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BP plcBP recently announced that the Thunder Horse South Expansion project in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico (GoM) has come online 11 months before schedule and $150 million under budget.

The project is anticipated to increase production at the facility by approximately 50,000 gross barrels of oil equivalent per day, enhancing output at one of the largest oil fields in the GoM.

A new subsea production system has been added about two miles to the south of the existing Thunder Horse platform by the Thunder Horse South Expansion. The system is a collection point for wells linked to the Thunder Horse platform by two 11,000-foot flowlines set up on the seabed in late 2016.

As mentioned above, the project was accomplished more than 15% below budget due to the use of proven standardized equipment and technology rather than building customized components.

The first new well for the project discovered the highest amount of hydrocarbon bearing sand seen to date at the Thunder Horse field. The drilling results established over 500 feet of net pay. Though the project was expected to be commissioned in 2017, it was brought online on Dec 8, 2016. This highlights BP's focus on the deepwater GoM. Last year, the company commissioned a major water-injection project at Thunder Horse and sanctioned the $9 billion Mad Dog Phase 2 project, which is anticipated to come online in late 2021.

The other partner Exxon Mobil Corp. XOM helped in the development of the Thunder Horse platform, which rests in over 6,000 feet of water and commenced production in Jun 2008. It has the capacity to manage 250,000 gross barrels of oil and 200 million gross cubic feet per day of natural gas. The facility was operational during the construction and installation of the new subsea production and pipeline system.

In the deepwater GoM, BP operates four large production platforms - Thunder Horse, Atlantis, Mad Dog and Na Kika. It also holds interests in four non-operated hubs - Mars, Olympus, Ursa and Great White.

Over the last one year, the stock has gained 24.3% while Zacks categorized sub industry Oil & Gas-International Integrated Market has increased by 31.3%. We expect the aforesaid developments to drive further stock price appreciation.

BP currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked players in the same space include Braskem S.A. BAK and Suncor Energy, Inc. SU . All these stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here .

Braskem posted a positive earnings surprise of 107.79% in the last reported quarter.

Suncor Energy posted a positive earnings surprise of 300.00% in the preceding quarter. It had an average earnings surprise of 40.55% in the four trailing quarters.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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