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Abstract

Atlantis Field represents a significant development for BP and co-owner BHP Billiton in the southern Green Canyon area of the Gulf of Mexico. With primary development from three middle Miocene sands, it is one of BP’s largest fields in the deep water Gulf of Mexico.

Discovered in 1998 and first production in 2007, Atlantis Field was developed in stages from a sub-sea drill center to a remote production facility. A second subsea drill center, centered on an early appraisal well, was connected in mid 2009. Drilling of water injection wells commenced in 2009 following initial dynamic data learning. Additional field development via appraisal drilling is planned for 2012, and two dynamically positioned semisubmersible rigs are currently active in the field.

Located approximately 120 miles (190 km) south of Fourchon, Louisiana, Atlantis Field is a faulted, elongate asymmetric doubly-plunging anticline within the Atwater Fold Belt. Water depths range from 4500 to 7000 feet (1370 to 2070 m) across the field, influenced by the Sigsbee Escarpment, a region of steep sea floor dip created by a thick allochthonous salt complex that partially overlies the structure. Both the allochthonous salt and the significant sea floor relief create challenges in seismic imaging, field development, and have influenced the staged approach.

The producing reservoirs are middle Miocene deep-water turbidites interpreted as a series of individual lobes in a submarine fan complex that were deposited in a relatively unconfined basin floor environment. Deformation of the reservoir commenced shortly after deposition and is dominated by the formation of the Atwater Fold Belt and culminated with the later partial burial of the structure by the thick allochthonous salt canopy. The reservoir was interpreted to be compartmentalized, based on the seismically defined faults, and these compartments were confirmed by static pressures. However, production data now indicate a greater reservoir compartmentalization beyond that initially defined. Data acquisition in new wells is targeted to understand further the reservoir deformation and stratigraphic complexity that negatively impacts permeability, acting as barriers or baffles to fluid flow.

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