Field/project development

Mad Dog Phase 2 Production Unit En Route to US Gulf

The floating production unit is making the trek across the Pacific Ocean to its new home in the US Gulf of Mexico.

BP's Argos FPU onboard a Boskalis heavy-transport ship
BP's Argos FPU onboard a Boskalis heavy-transport ship.
Source: BP

The 58,000-ton Argos production platform destined for BP’s Mad Dog Phase 2 development in the deepwater US Gulf has sailed from its construction site in South Korea. The semisubmersible was built by Samsung Heavy Industries and was loaded onto a Boskalis heavy-transport vessel at the yard during the last week in January.

BP chief Bernard Looney recently praised the Mad Dog Phase 2 project as a testament to the operator’s ability to drive costs out of historically costly endeavors. Original budget estimates for Mad Dog Phase 2 ranged upwards of $20 billion, however BP and its partners were able to bring the tab down to $9 billion through simplification and standardization of Argos’ design. The project is expected on stream in late 2021.

“Responding to the environment, in the Upstream, we delivered 20% lower capital spending than in 2019 with a continued focus on capital efficiency,” said Looney during the energy giant’s fourth-quarter earnings call. “An example is our Mad Dog 2 project, where we completed six wells using 218 fewer rig days and delivered just over $280 million of savings compared to the sanction case. And with all pre-first oil wells drilled, this further underpins our confidence in delivery.”

Argos, a reference to Odysseus’ canine companion from ‘The Odyssey’ and a nod to the existing Mad Dog spar platform, has the capacity to produce 140,000 B/D of oil via a subsea well system designed to handle up to 14 production wells and eight water injectors.

BP discovered the Mad Dog field in 1998 and began production there with its first platform in 2005. Continued appraisal drilling in the field during 2009 and 2011 doubled the resource estimate of the Mad Dog field to more than 4 billion bbl of oil equivalent, spurring the need for another platform at the field.

Argos will be moored approximately six miles to the southwest of the existing Mad Dog platform and will help extend the life of the Mad Dog oil field beyond 2050.