HOUSTON -- Gulf of Mexico oil production is forecast to increase substantially over the next several years, possibly reaching 1.8 MMbbl/d of oil by 2013 which would be a record high, according to Richie Baud, MMS deputy regional supervisor for the Office of Production and Development. Baud and a panel of MMS officials presented the findings from two new reports today at OTC.
"The Gulf of Mexico is one of the single largest suppliers of oil and gas to the US market," explained Lars Herbst, MMS GoM regional director. "With continued interest and activity in deepwater areas of the GoM, 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, operators announced that 15 deepwater discoveries and seven new projects began production in 1,000 ft (305 m) of water or greater. Also, last year, 57% of all GoM leases were in water depths greater than 1,000 ft with 141 producing deepwater projects, up from 130 at the end of 2007. Additionally, 73% of the tracts receiving bids in the three lease sales held in 2008 were in deepwater.
"The deepwater frontier has entered a new phase," said Mike Prendergast, MMS chief of staff, GoM region. He pointed to the increasing use of hub facilities as a trend in deepwater development. "Hub facilities will serve a bigger role as drilling moves to deeper waters," he said. And this will require further development of MODU technology as many of the hubs lack drilling capacity, he added.
"The offshore energy industry continues to confront and overcome technological challenges as energy production moves into deeper waters," said Herbst.