Sociedade Nacional de Combustiveis de Angola (Sonangol) and BP today announced the 'Marte' oil discovery in the ultra-deepwater Block 31, offshore Angola. This is the fourth exploration well BP has drilled in Block 31, and the third successful discovery following the Plut?o and Saturno discoveries, which lie some 20 to 25 kilometres from Marte. BP plans to drill one further exploration well, Vénus-1, in this area this year.
BP is currently exploring various development concepts. The proximity of Marte to Plut?o and Saturno makes a joint development likely, however, further work will be required to define the scope of any subsequent development.
The Marte-1 well was drilled in a water depth of 2,000 metres some 175 kilometres off the Angolan coast, and reached a total depth of 4,193 metres below sea level. It flowed at 5,200 barrels a day during testing.
Block 31 and its operatorship was awarded in 1999 by Angola's state oil company Sonangol to BP with a 26.67 per cent equity together with its partners Esso Exploration and Production Angola (Block 31) Limited 25 per cent, Sonangol, E.P. 20 per cent, Statoil Angola A.S.13.33 per cent, Marathon Petroleum Angola Block 31 Limited 10 per cent and EPA (Block 31) Ltd (a member of the Total group of companies) 5 per cent.