New Oil production for the United States: Thunder Horse

The British Petroleum offshore oil rig Thunder Horse started production on June 14, 2008 This is US domestic oil in the gulf of Mexico. It will be producing 250,000 barrels of oil per day in 2009.

Thunder Horse page at

The new production is still not enough as the CIBC is predicting $200 per barrel of oil and $7 per gallon in the USA by 2010.

While Americans are already driving 11 billion fewer miles than they did last year, a decline of 4.3%, they still drive today about 30% more than they did before the OPEC oil shocks. The elasticity of driving to gasoline prices is estimated to be around the 0.06. That means a 10% rise in gasoline prices will eventually lead to a 0.6% reduction in miles driven. Using that rule of thumb, the 280% cumulative rise in gasoline prices between 2004 and our target $7 per gallon target price should induce more than 15% reduction in miles driven on American roads.

This would be predicted to apply a hit to the US economy.

At a minimum, once the worst of the housing shock passes, the Fed will be forced to raise real interest rates back to zero in order to prevent an improving economy from allowing wages and other prices to catch up to oil. With CPI trending at an energy- and food-driven 4%, that will entail 200 basis points in tightening to get to a 4% funds rate by the end of next year. As a result of our upward revised call for both oil and interest rates, we’ve chopped our US growth forecast for 2009 from just over 2% as of two months ago, to little over 1%, no better than this year’s housing-blunted performance. The US economy has managed to avoid feeling the full brunt of oil prices over the last few years, but 2009 will be the year that its luck runs out

Thunder Horse’s actual “production profile” hinges on “well performance” and “how fast we are able to drill and connect new wells,” BP spokesman Ronnie Chappell cautioned.

The Thunder Horse field is located in Mississippi Canyon Blocks 776, 777 and 778, in the Boarshead Basin, 125 miles south-east of New Orleans. It is the largest field in the Gulf of Mexico and lies at a water depth of 6,000ft. The field was discovered in 1999. BP operates the development (75% interest), with co-venturer ExxonMobil owning the balance. The reservoir consists of Upper Miocene turbidite sandstones 6,000m beneath the seabed in 1,900m of water. Pressures exceed 1,200bar and temperatures reach 135°C

Norway Alvheim; Volund; Vilje had first oil June 9, 2008 as well.
Marathon Oil believes the Alvheim; Volund; Vilje output will be at 75,000 bpd in early 2009

Other oil megaprojects for 2008

Russia’s Yuzhno-Khylchuyuskoye “YK” for July 2008 start to get 150,000 bpd in 2009
Russia’s Vankorskoye for October 2008 to get 420,000 bpd peaking in 2017
Brazil Marlim Sul Mod 2 P-51 for August 2008 to get 180,000 bpd
Brazil Marlim Leste P-53 for August 2008 to get 180,000 bpd
Brazil Marlim Leste (FPSO Cidade de Niteroi) Dec 2008 for 100,000 bpd
Canada’s Horizon Oil Sands Project (Phase I) for Sept 2008 start to get 110,000 bpd