BP says it has made “a major breakthrough” in seismic imaging that has identified more than 200 MMbbl of additional resources at its Atlantis field in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.
Atlantis. Image from BP.
The breakthrough was made using new technique that the UK supermajor says has allowed it to enhance the clarity of images that it collects during seismic surveys, particularly areas below the earth’s surface that complex salt structures previously obscured or distorted.
Through these sharper seismic images, BP can drill new development wells in deepwater reservoirs with higher confidence and accuracy.
BP will now deploy the technique to other fields in the Gulf of Mexico, in addition to Azerbaijan, Angola, and Trinidad and Tobago.
“This technological breakthrough has essentially allowed our team to find a new oil field within our existing Atlantis field,” says Bernard Looney, chief executive of BP’s global upstream business. “Given the overwhelming success of this project, we are now deploying this technology across BP’s global operations.”
Proprietary algorithms developed by BP’s Subsurface Technical Center were applied on seismic data run at BP’s Center for High Performance Computing, one of the largest supercomputers in the world dedicated to commercial research. The algorithms allowed data that would normally take a year to be analyzed to be processed in only a few weeks, accelerating BP’s development decisions for the field, the company says.
The algorithms enhance a technique known as Full Waveform Inversion (FWI), which matches seismic simulations with existing seismic data to produce high quality subsurface images.
“This innovation again shows that BP remains at the forefront of advanced seismic imaging and digital technologies,” says Ahmed Hashmi, BP’s head of upstream technology. “The new technique has produced the best images of this reservoir that we have ever seen.”
BP’s Center for High Performance Computing is in Houston and opened in 2013.
The Atlantis platform, 150mi south of New Orleans and operating in more than 7000ft of water, is BP’s deepest mooring floating platform in the GoM. It is capable of producing some 200,000 b/d, and 180 MMcf/d of gas.
The Atlantis North project includes the drilling and completion new wells and the addition of subsea infrastructure to tieback to BP’s existing Atlantis platform. It will utilize available production capacity at the Atlantis hub.
Discovered in 1998, first oil at the Atlantis field was achieved in 2007.
BP is the operator of Atlantis with 56% stake. Partner BHP Billiton holds the remaining 44%.