Argos, the new floating production unit for the BP-operated $9 billion Mad Dog 2 project in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico (GoM), has arrived in Texas waters.

The 16,000-mile voyage from the Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard in South Korea to the Kiewit Offshore Services fabrication yard in Ingleside, Texas, took more than 60 days, BP said in a news release April 12. The 60,000-ton Argos, which was transported aboard the Boskalis BOKA Vanguard heavy transport vessel, will undergo final prep work and regulatory inspections in Texas before departing to the Gulf of Mexico.

It is set to become BP’s fifth operated platform in the GoM and the first new platform since Thunder Horse began production in 2008 when the Mad Dog 2 project starts up in second-quarter 2022, BP said. The unit is expected to boost BP’s production capacity in the region by an estimated 25%.

“This is a major step towards the delivery of one of bp’s most significant projects in recent years,” Gordon Birrell, executive vice president of production and operations for BP, said in the release. “When Argos is fully in place, Mad Dog 2 will be set to deliver resilient barrels from one of the most prolific basins in the world, strengthening our position in the Gulf for years to come.”

The facility, set to be installed about six miles from the original Mad Dog spar, will operate in in 4,500 ft of water and utilize a subsea production system with 14 production wells to produce at peak up to 140,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. The company’s proprietary LoSal EOR technology is also expected to increase reserves recovery as 140,000 bbl/d of processed seawater will be injected into the reservoirs through water injection wells.

“This project illustrates the innovative and collaborative spirit of BP at its best,” said Starlee Sykes, senior vice president, Gulf of Mexico & Canada, for BP.  “Our team consistently puts safety at the heart of everything we do, and the work on Argos has been no exception – notably throughout a global pandemic.”

With a 60.5% working interest, BP serves as operator. Partners are BHP and Chevron Corp. affiliate Union Oil Co. of California, holding 23.9% and 15.6% interests, respectively.