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Mad Dog Let Loose in Deepwater Gulf of Mexico

January 24, 2005
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Mad Dog Let Loose in Deepwater Gulf of Mexico

The Mad Dog development in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico about 200 miles south of New Orleans has started producing and is expected to ramp up to about 100,000 bbl/d of oil and 60 MMcf/d of natural gas by the end of the year, said owners BP (60.5% and operator), Unocal (15.6%) and BHP Billiton (23.9%).

Located in 4,500 feet of water in Green Canyon Block 782, Mad Dog production began on Jan. 13 and is expected to increase over the next year as additional wells are completed and brought online.

David Eyton, vice president of BP's Gulf of Mexico deepwater business unit, said the field represents a "major milestone" for BP in the Gulf of Mexico and will contribute significantly to its production growth in the region. "Bringing this challenging field into operation on time is a significant achievement, made possible through excellent teamwork and partnership," he said.

Current BP production in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico is more than 300,000 boe/d (net), but is expected to increase to more than 500,000 boe/d by 2007.

Mad Dog is one of three large BP-operated Gulf of Mexico deepwater developments scheduled for start-up this year and next. In addition to Mad Dog, Thunder Horse (with nameplate capacity for 250,000 bbl/d of oil and 200 MMcf/d of gas) is scheduled for start-up later this year, followed by Atlantis (capacity for 200,000 bbl/d of oil and 180 MMcf/d of gas) in 2006. A fourth project, Holstein, began production (100,000 bbl/d of oil and 150 MMcf/d of gas) in December 2004. All these fields link into BP's new 500 MMcf/d Mardi Gras Transportation System. The fields are expected to ramp up to their nameplate capacities over a 12-month period.

"The start of production from the Mad Dog field represents a milestone as Unocal's first production from its deepwater Gulf of Mexico program," said Joe Bryant, Unocal's president. "Mad Dog also is the first of five projects worldwide expected to add significant production volumes by the fourth quarter of 2005."

Bryant said another Unocal Gulf of Mexico discovery, K2, is on track to start production in the second quarter 2005. When combined with Mad Dog, the two fields should add an estimated 10,000 to 12,000 boe/d (net to Unocal) by year-end 2005.

The Mad Dog development consists of a truss spar, equipped with facilities for simultaneous production and drilling operations. Oil from Mad Dog will be transported via the Caesar pipeline to Ship Shoal 332B, where it will interconnect with the Cameron Highway Oil Pipeline System (CHOPS).

Mad Dog gas will be exported via the Cleopatra pipeline to Ship Shoal 332A, where it will interconnect with Manta Ray Gathering System, and from there to the Nautilus Gas Transportation System into Louisiana. Both Caesar and Cleopatra pipelines are part of the BP-operated Mardi Gras Transportation System.

Mad Dog was discovered in 1998. Construction of the spar components and topsides started in 2001 in Pori, Finland and Morgan City, LA.

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