OTC 2024: BP seeks resilience in hydrocarbons

Olivia Kabell, Associate Editor, World Oil May 08, 2024

On Day 2 (Tuesday, May 7) of OTC 2024, Andy Krieger—Senior V.P. for bp’s Gulf of Mexico (GOM) and Canadian businesses—played host for a panel on the company’s operations in the GOM at OTC 2024. Within the broader discussion of the company’s operations in the GOM, a few key topics surfaced: the potential and opportunities of the Paleogene formation layer; current operational prospects for the GOM; and balancing these prior two items with the ever-present push for cleaner, more sustainable operations.

Argos project status. While bp’s operations in the GOM range throughout the region, there are two newer spots that took center stage within the panel: Argos and Kaskida. While these two field developments are still in their early days, their prospects are impressive. Argos, particularly, presents the opportunity for higher-margin, low carbon intensity barrels that—per Krieger—the GOM is uniquely suited for. This carbon-intensity is also helped by a strategy Kreiger referred to as “infrastructure-based exploration,” or tying any new exploration operations to existing infrastructure as much as possible, to save on costs, construction time and carbon emissions. For Argos, there is also the possibility of integrating low-salinity water injection, and the company asserts that depletion is low, with large reserves remaining, even without counting the Paleogene formation.

To that point, the Paleogene formation will, according to future bp plans, be home to the Kaskida unit—a high-pressure, high-temperature-ready platform that is in concept phase as of this writing, with FID expected by end-2024. Part of the driving force behind the Kaskida unit’s development is the semi-recent commercial availability of 20,000-psi technology; in the high-pressure conditions of the Kaskida location, such technology is a key component.

With these resources now available, the more than 9 Bboe, gross, STOOIP in already established reserves present an attractive opportunity, with individual recovery and production rates that Krieger noted were similar to those of operations in the Miocene formation. Assuming the project does reach FID by the end of the year, Kaskida will mark the fourth project to take advantage of 20,000-psi technology in the GOM.

Future production ambitions. As of writing, bp plans to build its average GOM production to 400,000 bopd by 2030, building on 2023’s average 300,000 bopd, and the Kaskida project will be a key part of this production acceleration.

Despite the positive outlook, bp remains cautious when it comes to safety and bespoke technologies. “The days of the very large, bespoke facilities of days past are just that,” Kreiger noted, elaborating in the Q&A session following the panel that bp aims to make use of existing technologies as much as possible and wait for development, if necessary. Such was the case for Argos, and BP seems certain of the success of this approach.

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