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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






LEASE OWNERSHIP

A handful of major oil and gas companies blazed the trail into deepwater in the 1980ís and early 1990ís. In this report, we define major companies to include BP, ChevronTexaco, ExxonMobil, and Shell.

Appendix E shows the companies and subsidiaries that form these majors. (Grouping of these four entities does not indicate a regulatory conclusion or an analysis of production size. It is merely a convenient category for the purpose of comparison.)

Figure 27 illustrates the relative leaseholding positions of majors versus nonmajors. (Figure 27 reflects the most recent lease ownerships at the end of each 2-year period.)

Figure 27. Ownership of deepwater leases 1992-1997.
Figure 27. Ownership of deepwater leases 1998-2003.
Figure 27. Ownership of deepwater leases.

Note that majors dominated deepwater leasing in 1992-1993. In 1996, nonmajors began acquiring significant leaseholdings, a trend that continued through 2003. Nonmajor companies are poised to play a leading role in the future of the deepwater Gulf.

The type of companies active in deepwater clearly changed with the increased presence of nonmajor oil and gas companies.

Another change in deepwater lease ownership came with the wave of company mega-mergers.

The industry mergers increased the diversity of leaseholdings for the merged companies.

For example, while some companies were heavily focused on the deepwater GOM prior to the mergers, their merger partners may have been focused primarily on shallow-water prospects.

The combination of these entities yielded a larger leasehold position in all water depths and frequently a broader geographic range across the GOM.



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Cover and Title Page

PREFACE

INTRODUCTION

BACKGROUND

LEASING DRILLING AND DEVELOPMENT RESERVES AND PRODUCTION SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS . . . Feedback