bp has successfully started oil production at its Argos offshore platform, strengthening bp’s position as a leading producer in the deepwater US Gulf of Mexico. (Earlier post.) With a gross production capacity of up to 140,000 barrels of oil per day, Argos is bp’s fifth platform in the Gulf of Mexico and the first new bp-operated production facility in the region since 2008.
bp now operates five production platforms in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico: Argos, Atlantis, Mad Dog, Na Kika and Thunder Horse. bp also holds interests in four non-operated hubs: Great White, Mars, Olympus and Ursa.
The semi-submersible platform ultimately will increase bp’s gross operated production capacity in the Gulf of Mexico by an estimated 20%. bp anticipates its production in the US Gulf of Mexico to grow to about 400,000 boed net by the mid 2020s, and average 350,000 boed across the decade.
bp expects to safely and systematically ramp up production from Argos through 2023.
Argos is the centerpiece of bp’s Mad Dog Phase 2 project, which extends the life of the super-giant oil field discovered in 1998. It is one of nine high-margin major projects that bp plans start up by the end of 2025 globally.
Operating in 4,500 feet of water about 190 miles south of New Orleans, Argos will support 250 permanent jobs. Standing 27 stories tall, the platform has a deck the length and width of an American football field and weighs more than 60,000 tons.
Argos is bp’s most digitally advanced platform operating in the Gulf of Mexico, featuring bp’s proprietary LoSal Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) and Dynamic Digital Twin technologies. Argos has a waterflood injection capacity of more than 140,000 barrels of low-salinity water per day to help increase oil recovery from the Mad Dog field. The platform also has a Dynamic Digital Twin, a bp patent-pending software that links complex data from Argos to 3D digital models of those systems, allowing remote operators wearing Virtual Reality headsets to access data in real time to improve decision-making, efficiency and safety.
In the early 2010s, bp and partners simplified and standardized Argos’ original design, reducing the overall project cost by about 60%. Construction on Argos began in March 2018 at Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard in South Korea. More than 15 million hours of work went into building the platform there.
Argos arrived at Kiewit Offshore Services fabrication yard in Ingleside, Texas, in April 2021 after taking a two-month, 16,000-mile journey onboard the Boskalis BOKA Vanguard heavy transport vessel.
After final preparations and regulatory inspections, Argos was towed 380 miles offshore to the well sites for final hook up and commissioning work.
bp is the operator with 60.5% working interest. Co-owners include Woodside Energy (23.9%) and Union Oil Company of California, an affiliate of Chevron USA Inc. (15.6%).