Technology challenges daunting for deepwater GOM bonanza

Overcoming technology challenges in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico is critical to future US energy supply.The deepwater (especially the ultradeepwater) areas of the Gulf of Mexico offer the greatest near-term potential for significantly adding to US oil and natural gas reserves and production.The US Minerals Management Service estimates the deep waters of the gulf contain resources totaling about 45 billion bbl of oil and 232 tcf of gas. And the individual prospects are more prolific: According to MMS, in the past 10 years, the average deepwater field added over 67 MMboe of reserves vs. about 5 MMboe for shallow-water fields. The successes are even more substantial as the play has expanded ...

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