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Deepwater Gulf of Mexico - America's Expanding Frontier
SOURCE: U.S. Department of the Interior, Minerals Management Service, Gulf of Mexico OCS Region
CHALLENGES AND REWARDS
Significant challenges exist in deepwater in addition to environmental considerations.
There was a shift toward deeper water
over time, and the number of deepwater discoveries continues at a steady pace. Note that the last frame
of this figure only represents a 3-year span and that several recent discoveries are not shown in this frame
because they have not been assigned a discovery date yet. (The Reserves and Production section of this
report explains how discovery dates are assigned.)
However, the number of discoveries by nonmajor companies has surpassed that by major companies. In addition, nonmajor
companies have made numerous recent discoveries in the deepest waters of the frontier.
In addition to their large sizes, deepwater fields have a wide geographic
distribution and range in geologic age from Pleistocene through Paleocene. Note that only recently have
reservoirs older than Miocene been encountered.
Pending exploration plans (EPís) and development operations coordination documents (DOCDís) filed with MMS indicate that support from southeastern Louisiana will continue to grow and that additional support will come from southwest Louisiana, Mississippi, and the Texas coast (figure 20).
expanding along the Gulf Coast, shore-based support for deepwater operations is likely to remain
concentrated in southeastern Louisiana.
For purposes of this report, deepwater hubs are defined as surface structures that host production from one or more subsea projects.
Figure 23 illustrates the existing network of deepwater pipelines.
These figures highlight new and proposed pipelines since the last report.
LNG Projects Proposed in the Gulf of Mexico
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LEASING DRILLING AND DEVELOPMENT RESERVES AND PRODUCTION SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS Feedback