HOUSTON – WoodMackenzie predicts deepwater Gulf of Mexico production will end its decline this year and show year-over-year gains to a peak exceeding 2 MMboe/d in 2016.
Production declined by almost 18% to 1.4 MMboe/d in 2011, according to WoodMac numbers.
The consulting firm notes there is no guarantee about the rebound, as several significant risk factors remain. However, if it does follow the prediction, it will be driven mostly by subsalt exploration and development.
Past 2016, WoodMac sees an emerging Jurassic play in the east Mississippi Canyon protraction area as leading the way.
Eight companies (Anadarko, BP, Shell, Chevron, BHP Billiton, ExxonMobil, Statoil, and Petrobras) out of 63 with production in deepwater GoM will account for 93% of the growth from 2012 to 2016.
The most serious of the risks that could retard this positive prediction is in economics, says the WoodMac study. Oil price declines to $70/bbl or less would be likely to delay or even suspend deepwater plans. On the technical side, flow assurance and high-pressure/high-temperature issues could add costs and the supply of subsea components could get tighter.