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2006 Was Big Year for Deepwater GOM Discoveries

Last year saw exceptional success for exploration in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico (GOM), according to a new report by Wood Mackenzie. Early estimates suggest total reserves discovered last year could be in the range of 1.5 billion boe, the Edinburgh, Scotland-based firm said Thursday.

While the vast majority of deepwater GOM discoveries are oil, industry efforts turned up some gas, too. Most oil discoveries contain at least some associated gas. And for large fields, such as Pony and Kaskida, this could amount to as much as 200 Bcf, said Zoe Sutherland, author of Wood Mackenzie's "Upstream Insights: Gulf of Mexico." "Our estimates suggest that about 1.6 Tcf of gas was discovered in the deepwater during 2006, with about half of this being associated gas," she said. Sutherland provided NGI with Wood Mackenzie's assessment of last year's GOM gas-related discoveries:

In the case of oil discoveries, Wood Mackenzie said that while the success rate in 2006 was on par with previous years, early estimates suggest that total reserves discovered could be in the region of 1.5 billion boe. "Over the last 10 years, the average amount of oil and gas discovered each year in the deepwater gulf has been about 1.2 billion boe," the Wood Mackenzie study report said. The years 2004 and 2005 were "disappointing, with reserve additions falling to less than 1 billion boe."

For the success in 2006, Wood Mackenzie credits two potentially very large finds: BP's Kaskida (KC 292) and Hess' Pony (GC 468). "Together, these fields account for over half the reserves discovered in the region during the year."

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