Gulf Deepwater Sees Major Advance in 2004; Records Set

Emphasizing the major expansion of the oil and gas industry in deepwater Gulf of Mexico, the Minerals Management Service announces that there were 14 new deepwater startups and 12 new deepwater discoveries in 2004. According to Chris Oynes, Gulf of Mexico MMS Regional Director, "These 14 new deepwater startups and 12 deepwater discoveries show once again that the Gulf of Mexico is alive and well, helping America meet her energy needs. This tenth year of sustained expansion of deepwater production adds further to the success of previous years."

Six of these 14 starts are floating production facilities (two tension-leg platforms [TLP] and four spars) that can act as hubs for future subsea development projects. (See Table 1.) Two of these startups broke offshore records in 2004: ConocoPhillips' Magnolia set the world record for TLP water depth at 4,674 feet, and BP's Holstein is the world's largest producing spar.

"Some of these new deepwater discoveries are opening up new areas for natural such gas development in the eastern Gulf," said Oynes. "The discoveries of Atlas and San Jacinto in the Eastern Gulf have helped bring economic viability to the Independence Hub facility now being planned." Oynes also noted that "ChevronTexaco's discoveries at Tiger, Silvertip, and Jack located in Alaminos Canyon and Walker Ridge respectively, and Unocal's discovery at Tobago in Alaminos Canyon added new excitement to the Paleogene in this area."(See table 2.)

Table 1:† 2004 Deepwater Startups

Project Name

Operator

Area

Block

Water
Depth
(ft)

System Type

EB598/599

Kerr-McGee

East Breaks

598

3212

Subsea

Raptor

Pioneer

East Breaks

668

3710

Subsea

Harrier

Pioneer

East Breaks

759

4114

Subsea

Llano

Shell

Garden Banks

386

2663

Subsea

Magnolia

ConocoPhillips

Garden
Banks

783

4674

TLP

Red Hawk

Kerr-McGee

Garden
Banks

877

5334

Spar

Glider

Shell

Green
Canyon

248

3440

Subsea

Front Runner

Murphy

Green
Canyon

338

3330

Spar

Marco Polo

Anadarko

Green
Canyon

608

4320

TLP

Holstein

BP

Green
Canyon

645

4344

Spar

Kepler/Na Kika

Shell

Mississippi Canyon

383

5759

Subsea

Ariel/Na Kika

Shell

Mississippi Canyon

429

6240

Subsea

Coulomb/Na Kika

Shell

Mississippi Canyon

657

7591

Subsea

Devilís Tower

Dominion

Mississippi
Canyon

773

5610

Spar

Table 2: †2004 Deepwater Discoveries

Prospect Name

Operator

Area

Block

Water Depth
††††††† (ft)

Tobago

Unocal

Alaminos Canyon

859

9627

Silvertip

ChevronTexaco

Alaminos Canyon

815

9226

Tiger

ChevronTexaco

Alaminos Canyon

818

9004

Atlas

Anadarko Petroleum

Lloyd Ridge

5

8810

San Jacinto

Dominion Exploration

Desoto Canyon

618

7850

Jack

ChevronTexaco

Walker Ridge

759

6965

Thunder Hawk

Dominion Exploration

Mississippi Canyon

734

5724

Goldfinger

Dominion Exploration

Mississippi Canyon

771

5423

Ticonderoga

Kerr-McGee

Green Canyon

768

5250

Puma

BP Exp. & Prod. Inc.

Green Canyon

823

4130

Dawson Deep

Kerr-McGee

Garden Banks

625

2900

Crested Butte

Nexen

Green Canyon

242

2846

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