BP reveals ‘significant’ Gulf of Mexico discovery

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Oil major BP today announced it has made a “significant” oil discovery at its Gila prospect in the deepwater region of the US Gulf of Mexico.

BP, which jointly owns Gila with ConocoPhillips, said appraisal drilling will now be needed to determine the size and potential commerciality of the discovery.

The find is BP’s third significant discovery in recent years within the deepwater Paleogene plays in the Gulf of Mexico.

Richard Morrison, regional president of the group’s Gulf of Mexico business, said: “The Gila discovery is a further sign that momentum is returning to BP’s drilling operations and well execution in the Gulf of Mexico.”

BP has a long track record of exploring in the Gulf and built a position as one of the most important players in deeper waters, but its reputation took a hammering with the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, in which 11 people were killed.

The group said it has been the largest investor in the Gulf over the last ten years, and over the past five years has invested more than $55 billion (£33.8bn) in the US.