Deepwater Keeps Gulf Strong
Deepwater development in the Gulf of Mexico continues to be the driving force in Gulf production and potential growth. The Minerals Management Service (MMS) announced today that there were 10 new deepwater (greater than 1,000 feet of water) oil and gas discoveries reported by operators and lessees in the Gulf of Mexico in 2005.
"The discoveries are encouraging," said Chris Oynes, MMS's Gulf of Mexico Regional Director. "Last year continued to be a strong year for deepwater activity in the Gulf of Mexico. There is intense interest in oil and gas potential in the deepwater. The Gulf of Mexico continues to represent the major domestic energy source for the United States."
"The Big Foot and Knotty Head discoveries confirm the extensive middle-to-low Miocene play within the Mississippi fan foldbelt area," noted Oynes. "And the new Stones discovery by BP adds to the discoveries in the lower Wilcox Paleogene play."
Another indicator of deepwater activity is the recent rig count. In mid-March, there were 42 rigs drilling or working on development wells in deepwater, including ten rigs drilling in 5,000 feet of water or greater – the ultra-deepwater zone. One year ago, 6 drilling rigs were in ultra-deepwater.
The announced deepwater discoveries in 2005 demonstrate that active exploration in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico will continue to help America meet its energy needs.
The ten discoveries are those that have been publicly announced individually by the companies or their partners.