UK-based oil and gas company BP has discovered oil at the Gila prospect on Keathley Canyon Block 93 in the deepwater US Gulf of Mexico.

Drilled to a total depth of 29,221ft, the exploration well on Keathley Canyon Block has penetrated multiple Paleogene-aged reservoir sands.

The company believes that appraisal drilling, including completion of drilling through the Paleocene section, will be required to determine the size and potential commerciality of the discovery.

Gila prospect, which BP co-owns with ConocoPhillips, is around 300 miles southwest of New Orleans, in approximately 4,900ft of water.

The discovery is said to be in the Paleogene trend, representing BP’s third discovery in the same trend following two other Paleogene discoveries in the Gulf of Mexico at the Kaskida in 2006 and Tiber in 2009.

BP Gulf of Mexico regional president Richard Morrison said: "The Gila discovery is a further sign that momentum is returning to BP’s drilling operations and well execution in the Gulf of Mexico."

BP Exploration global head Mike Daly said that Gila continues the company’s successful drill out of the prolific Paleogene play system in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.

"Subject to successful appraisal, Gila, Tiber and Kaskida together offer the potential for significant future oil developments in the Keathley Canyon area," Morrison added.

The Gila discovery is located around 25 miles west of Tiber, which is also located in the Keathley Canyon area. The lease for Keathley Canyon Block 93 was acquired in the Western Gulf of Mexico Lease OCS Sale 187 in 2003.

Image: Exploration well on Keathley Canyon Block 93 in around 4,900ft of water. Photo: courtesy of

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