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Oil & Natural Gas Supply


Drilling for oil and gas in the outer continental shelf of the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) has come a long way in the 60 years since the early shallow wells were drilled from fixed structures within sight of land to the very deep wells in very deep water cited in the press release above. The Outer Continental Shelf extends from the state waters (three to nine miles depending on the state) out up to 200 nautical miles as defined by international law. But the move to deeper water has not been linear in progression, the players have changed, and enormous technological advances have been made. The first offshore well was drilled in the 1940s and as recently as 1996 the deepest production was in 2,243 feet of water. Beginning in 2003 interest begin growing in the Lower Tertiary trend, which begins 175 miles offshore and is approximately 80 miles wide and 300 miles long, in water depths over 10,000 feet.  The challenges of developing this trend, both technical and economic, are daunting but the prize, according to the MMS, could be as large as 50 billion barrels from the deep and ultra-deep areas of the GOM.

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White Paper Issues, Current Work and Future Direction

Deepwater/Ultra-Deepwater White Paper

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Technology Tidbit of the Month

New Deepwater GOM Seismic Survey

TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company (TGS) of Norway announced on September 22 continuation of its Explorer Series seismic acquisition in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. Seismic acquisition of 11,500 sq km in the Central Gulf in the Lund and Henderson leases will begin in the 4th quarter of 2014. The M/V Polarcus Adira vessel will tow the 10 kilometer steamers to image the area. The high quality data is being shot over mostly open acreages and will be available to the industry late in 2015 for future lease sales in the Central GOM.


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