UK supermajor BP is preparing to drill a much-anticipated appraisal well this year on the Puma West oil discovery in the deep-water US Gulf of Mexico, just as it is starting to see new exploration opportunities in the US Gulf that it hopes will allow it to maintain its strong position through the decade and beyond.

Talos Energy, one of BP’s co-venturers at Puma West, said the appraisal well will spud early in the fourth quarter this year with results expected by early 2023.