WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) say they will advance new research into whether certain policy changes could help increase oil and gas production from deepwater infrastructure already in place in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM).
The study will examine specific economic parameters used by BOEM and BSEE for new and high-cost technologies like extended-reach subsea tiebacks. Implementation of these parameters could minimize stranded or left behind hydrocarbon resources. This research would apply to developments that might connect to deepwater facilities that have additional production capacity.
“BSEE has provided some important initial data, and our team will consider the economic parameters used to examine these extended-reach subsea tieback projects given the capacity that exists in the region,” said BOEM Acting Director Walter Cruickshank. “Based on that analysis, BSEE could then have more tools to minimize stranded resources.”
Deepwater production, which comes from depths greater than 200 m (656 ft), accounts for 92% of total GoM offshore oil production, and 14% of all domestic oil produced in the US, according to BOEM. In 2019, facilities in deepwater GoM averaged a record-breaking 1.7 MMb/d of oil.
According to BOEM, about four out of five deepwater facilities are producing less than 50% of their daily oil production capacity, based on a three-year average of daily production rates.
Through collaboration, BOEM and BSEE identified contingent resources that exist 30-60 mi (48-97 km) away from existing facilities. This research will identify any difficulties that new technological advances may face, that could potentially hinder production and project economics.