Report: Significant Economic Benefits Seen from Atlantic Oil, Gas Devt

First Production Could Begin As Early as 2026

According to the report, first production could begin as early as 2026 if seismic activity began in 2017 and lease sales in 2018. Drilling would be expected to begin in 2019, with an average of 30 wells drilled each year from 2017 to 2035, mostly in deepwater. The average of wells drilled per year would rise to 66 in the last five years of the forecast, 2031 to 2035, as the number of active projects grows and the need for development wells increases.

Initial annual production from the Atlantic OCS would be just over 6,000 boepd, and rise to 1.34 boepd by 2035. Approximately 40 percent, or 550,000 boepd of production in 2035 would be oil, and 60 percent, or 4.6 billion cubic feet per day, would be natural gas.

The release of the report was timed to coincide with the closeness to the process for the next Five-Year Offshore Leasing Plan for 2017-2022, said Milito during the conference call. API and NOIA also wanted updated information on the Atlantic OCS to be available to policymakers and the public.

Quest utilized existing data from an updated reserve analysis made by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management that was released in 2011, along with additional information on trends in the Atlantic and advancements in offshore exploration and production technology, to reach the new estimates. Data from the study is based on existing seismic data taken 20 to 30 years ago and other data to reach new estimates.

However, API and NOIA officials are optimistic about the potential for exploration and production offshore the eastern United States, given the exploration success seen in the Atlantic offshore West Africa, South America and the Atlantic Margin. Luthi noted that completion of new seismic data survey work is critical to better understand where oil and gas resources might be.

“Opening the Atlantic OCS is only part of the equation,” Luthi noted. “The oil and gas industry must make significant financial investment to ensure efficient and safe production from the Atlantic OCS, and a thoughtful, respectful relationship between industry and regulators is needed to ensure production and the highest safety and environmental standards.”


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