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BP adds two deepwater rigs in the Gulf of Mexico

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British Petroleum (BP) has added two drilling rigs to the deep-water Gulf of Mexico, bringing its fleet to a company record nine rigs as it continues to develop a strong portfolio of assets in the key U.S. offshore basin.

Said Richard Morrison, Regional President of BP’s Gulf of Mexico business. “It also clearly demonstrates BP’s commitment to the American economy and to U.S. energy security.”

One of the rigs is a new ultra-deep-water drill-ship known as the West Auriga that is under long-term contract to BP. The vessel, capable of operating in up to 12,000 feet of water, has begun development drilling work at BP’s Thunder Horse field shown in the photo on the left.

Editors Note: Click on the video and get an exciting aerial view of the drill ship.

The other is a reconstructed drilling rig on BP’s Mad Dog oil and gas production platform.

It replaces the original rig on the platform that was badly damaged and left inoperable by Hurricane Ike in 2008.

With the new, state-of-the art rig, the platform recently resumed development drilling at the Mad Dog field complex.

The company plans to concentrate future activity and investment in the Gulf on growth opportunities around its four major operated production hubs – Thunder Horse, Na Kika, Atlantis and Mad Dog – and three non-operated production hubs – Mars, Ursa and Great White – in the deep-water, as well as on significant exploration and appraisal opportunities in the Paleogene and elsewhere.

British Petroleum Factoids:

  • BP is the largest investor in the Gulf of Mexico over the last ten years
  • BP was the largest oil and gas producer in the deep-water Gulf of Mexico in 2012, when output accounted for 214,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day
  • BP is the leading acreage holder in the deep-water Gulf, with ownership in more than 650 leases, which provide substantial opportunity for growth.
  • BP directly employs more than 2,300 people in the Gulf of Mexico business and supports tens of thousands of additional jobs in the region


  • Additional jobs for the Gulf Coast region


To report a breaking story or a news topic, call Hank Richards at (256) 738-2200 or drop an email to

Richards is a press pool reporter for BP and covered the Gulf Oil Spill in 2010 for the regional Gulf Coast.



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