BP has discovered oil at its ultra-deepwater block 31 offshore Angola. The Marte-1 well was drilled to 4,193 m in 2,000 m of water 175 km off Angola. It flowed 5,200 b/d during testing.
The Marte-1 is the fourth exploration well BP has drilled in block 31, and the third successful discovery following the Pluto and Saturno discoveries, which lie some 20 to 25 km from Marte. BP plans to drill one further exploration well, Venus-1, in the area this year.
BP is exploring development concepts. The proximity of Marte to Pluto and Saturno makes a joint development likely. Further work will be required, however, to define the scope of any subsequent development.
Block 31 was awarded in 1999 by Angola's state oil company Sonangol to BP with a 26.67% equity, together with its partners Esso Exploration and Production Angola (Block 31) 25%, Sonangol, E.P. 20%, Statoil Angola A.S. 13.33%, Marathon Petroleum Angola Block 31 10% and EPA (Block 31), a member of the Total group of companies, 5%.