MMS: Deepwater Success Improves Resource Outlook
Success in deepwater exploration in the Gulf of Mexico improved
the outlook for both oil and natural gas resources, according to an
updated report by the Minerals Management Service. The 2000 MMS
resource assessment now indicates that there is a 65% increase in
conventional recoverable oil reserves and a 35% increase in natural
gas on the outer continental shelf.
MMS, which conducted its last assessment in 1995, uses the
measurements to manage its offshore program. In the past five
years, "there has been remarkable activity in deepwater areas,"
said MMS director Walt Rosenbusch.
MMS determines oil and natural gas resource estimates for two
categories: undiscovered conventionally recoverable resources and
undiscovered economically recoverable resources. Geophysical,
technological and economic conditions all are considered in the
Undiscovered conventionally recoverable resources represent the
potential hydrocarbons of an area that can be produced using
current technology, and do not consider economic feasibility.
However, the undiscovered economically recoverable resources
represent the portion of the undiscovered conventionally
recoverable hydrocarbons that can be explored, developed and
commercially produced at given costs and price considerations using
current or "reasonably foreseeable technology."
Total OCS estimates for conventionally recoverable resources now
stand at 75 bbl and 362.2 Tcf. By area, they are Alaska, 24.9 bbl
and 122.6 Tcf; Atlantic, 2.3 bbl and 28 Tcf; Gulf of Mexico, 37.1
bbl and 192.7 Tcf; Pacific, 10.7 bbl and 18.9 Tcf.
The OCS totals for economically recoverable resources, using an
estimate of $18 per bbl and $2.11 Mcf now stand at 26.6 bbl and
116.8 Tcf. By area, they are Alaska, 3.3 bbl and 1.6 Tcf; Atlantic,
0.5 bbl and 6.6 Tcf; Gulf of Mexico, 17.5 bbl and 100.3 Tcf; and
Pacific, 5.3 bbl and 8.3 Tcf.
Carolyn Davis, Houston
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