MMS Releases Latest GOM Energy Forecast, Deepwater Report

In a press conference today at the 2009 Offshore Technology Conference the Minerals Management Service (MMS) announced the release of the Gulf of Mexico Oil and Gas Production Forecast: 2009-2018 and the Deepwater Gulf of Mexico 2009: Interim Report of 2008 Highlights.

In the forecast report, Gulf of Mexico (GOM) oil production is forecasted to increase substantially over the next several years, possibly reaching 1.8 million barrels of oil per day. GOM gas production is forecasted to continue its decline over the next four years due to aging projects in shallow water. Future increases depend on the successful development of undiscovered resources in the Gulf.

"The Gulf of Mexico is one of the single largest suppliers of oil and gas to the U.S. market," explained GOM Regional Director, Lars Herbst. "With continued interest and activity in deepwater areas of the Gulf of Mexico, we anticipate that oil production will continue to be strong with a large portion of production coming from projects in deeper water depths."

In 2008, GOM oil and gas operators announced that 15 deepwater discoveries and seven new projects began production in 1,000 feet (305 meters) of water or greater, the measurement used to describe deepwater activity. Current leasing, exploration and production activities are detailed in the latest deepwater report, which presents a synopsis of deepwater oil and gas industry activities in the Gulf of Mexico over the past 17 years.

"The offshore energy industry continues to confront and overcome technological challenges as energy production moves into deeper waters in the Gulf of Mexico," said Regional Director Herbst. "As the trend to deepwater continues, our emphasis is focused on safe and environmentally responsible energy development, which remains a central part of the mission at MMS."

In 2008, 57 percent of all GOM leases were located in water depths greater than 1,000 feet with 141 producing deepwater projects. Additionally, 73% of the tracts receiving bids in the three lease sales held in 2008 were in deepwater areas of the GOM.

Publicly Announced Deepwater Discoveries for 2008
Prospect Name Area/Block Water Depth (feet) Operator
Diamond Lloyd Ridge 370 9,975 Murphy


Walker Ridge 848 7,657 Statoil/ExxonMobil
Tortuga Mississippi Canyon 561 6,302 Noble Energy
Freedom Mississippi Canyon 948 6,095

British Petroleum/Noble Energy

Dalmatian Desoto Canyon 48 5,876 Murphy
Kodiak Mississippi Canyon 771 4,986 British Petroleum
(unnamed) Green Canyon 448 3,266 LLOG
Gladden Mississippi Canyon 800 3,116 Newfield Exploration
(unnamed) Mississippi Canyon 503 3,099 LLOG
Geauxpher Garden Banks 462 2,820 Mariner Energy
Anduin West Mississippi Canyon 754 2,696 Newfield Exploration
Sargent Garden Banks 339 2,180 Deep Gulf Energy
(unnamed) Mississippi Canyon 72 2,013 LLOG
(unnamed) Viosca Knoll 821 1,030 Walter Oil & Gas
Shaft Green Canyon 141 1,003 LLOG


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