BP has announced a “significant” oil discovery in the Gulf of Mexico. The find is the oil giant’s first major find since the rig explosion that triggered the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the worst environmental disaster in US history. It is also the first big oil discovery since US regulators lifted a five-month ban on deep-water drilling in 2010 after the Macondo well blowout.
BP revealed it had hit oil at depths close to 9,150 metres at its Gila prospect in the Gulf of Mexico, which is about 300 miles south-west of New Orleans. Although its commercial potential is not yet clear, the discovery came as BP revealed a $1bn write-off from its Pitanga well off the coast of Brazil. BP has admitted that it will not recover the $850m it paid to buy the Pitanga well, nor a further $230m spent on developing it.
BP said 2013 had been its most successful year for oil exploration for almost a decade: it had investigated 15 wells, making seven potentially commercial discoveries.
The evidence suggests that there are signs of a drilling revival in the Gulf of Mexico since the massive spill. BP, which employs 2,300 people in the region, had seven wells in 2012, up from five in 2011. While fracking and cheap gas have captured public attention, big oil companies have been moving back to the Gulf, building new rigs. A record 807 oil permits for the Gulf were issued in the first nine months of this year, up 14% on 2012, according to Bloomberg.
- Mesmerizing photos show Gulf’s 210 MILLION gallon oil slick (dailymail.co.uk)
- Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill…bp Gets ‘Screwed’! (shootthescribe.wordpress.com)
- Court won’t take Gulf spill moratorium case (fuelfix.com)