Deepwater drilling dominating Gulf petroleum production

May 1, 2007
Reported by Associated Press

A federal agency says more than half of the active oil and natural gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico are now in depths of greater than a-thousand feet.  And drilling in the deepest reasons became practically only about 15 years ago.

The Minerals Management Service says that in 2006, 70 percent of the oil produced in the Gulf of Mexico and 40 percent of the gas came from deepwater leases.  Its statement came in a report issued for the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston.

Last year, petroleum companies made 12 new deepwater discoveries, the deepest in 7,600 feet of water.  The agency says those discoveries are expected to add about one-point-three billion barrels to Gulf reserves.