By OGJ editors
WASHINGTON, DC, June 11 -- The Minerals Management Service's Gulf of Mexico regional office predicted in a June 10 report that leases held on the Outer Continental Shelf will be producing oil and gas at dramatically higher levels than a decade ago.
MMS said that it expected leases to produce between 2-2.47 million b/d of oil and 10.97-16.39 bcfd by the end of 2006.
MMS Director Johnnie Burton called the new projections "a healthy, sizeable increase in the range of possible oil production. Should the high-case estimates be reached in 2006, we will see a 160% increase in oil production from the gulf in the period 1995-2006." Oil production has been rising steadily in the Gulf from 945,000 b/d in 1995.
Burton noted that, "Should the high-case projection be met in 2006, oil production would be at almost 2.5 million b/d versus the 945,000 [b/d] in 1995."
Deep water, which the agency defines as water depths of 1,000 ft or greater, will also play an expanded role over the next 5 years, the agency said.
As much as 77% of daily oil production and 26% of daily gas production could come from the deepwater Gulf of Mexico by 2006, MMS officials said. MMS estimated gulf oil production at 1.5 million b/d in 2001, with gulf deepwater oil production surpassing shallow-water oil production in March 2000.