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BP Announces Huge Oil Find in Gulf Coast

Promises to sustain U.S. domestic production for years to come

1 min read

BP announced yesterday, Sept. 2, a huge deep-sea oil and gas discovery in the Gulf of Mexico. According to the company’s press release, the field is located about 400 kilometers southeast of Houston, where water is at a depth of 1,259 meters. The Tiber test well was drilled to a depth of 10,685 meters (35,055 feet), which makes it deeper than Mount Everest is high and one of the deepest or the very deepest ever. BP, the largest oil and gas producer in the Gulf, is developing the Tiber field in partnership with Petrobras and ConocoPhilips. The company produces at present 400,000 barrels per day oil equivalent —most of that at its Thunder Horse platform, which cost hundreds of millions of dollars to build and took a decade to get operating to BP’s satisfaction.

BP is not making any claims about the size of what it calls its "giant discovery," but according to accounts in The New York Times and Wall Street Journal, the Tiber field could contain as much as 3 billion barrels of oil equivalent. Analysts consider BP well positioned with the new find to remain the Gulf's dominant producer, and the Gulf to be in a position to keep U.S. oil production from declining in the short and medium run. The Journal cites an estimate by the U.S. Minerals Management Service that Gulf production will increase to 1.88 million bpd by 2013, versus 1.14 million in 2008.

The Conversation (0)
This photograph shows a car with the words “We Drive Solar” on the door, connected to a charging station. A windmill can be seen in the background.

The Dutch city of Utrecht is embracing vehicle-to-grid technology, an example of which is shown here—an EV connected to a bidirectional charger. The historic Rijn en Zon windmill provides a fitting background for this scene.

We Drive Solar

Hundreds of charging stations for electric vehicles dot Utrecht’s urban landscape in the Netherlands like little electric mushrooms. Unlike those you may have grown accustomed to seeing, many of these stations don’t just charge electric cars—they can also send power from vehicle batteries to the local utility grid for use by homes and businesses.

Debates over the feasibility and value of such vehicle-to-grid technology go back decades. Those arguments are not yet settled. But big automakers like Volkswagen, Nissan, and Hyundai have moved to produce the kinds of cars that can use such bidirectional chargers—alongside similar vehicle-to-home technology, whereby your car can power your house, say, during a blackout, as promoted by Ford with its new F-150 Lightning. Given the rapid uptake of electric vehicles, many people are thinking hard about how to make the best use of all that rolling battery power.

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