Gulf Oil Find Could Boost U.S. Production 50 Percent
Chevron has announced the discovery of a new oil field in the Gulf of Mexico potentially comparable to that in Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay.
A vast pool miles below the Gulf of Mexico could total 11% of what the U.S. produces. Skeptics note the uncertainty factor, and the cost.”>discovery of an oil field in the Gulf of Mexico which could rival Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay.
Chevron Corp. and two partners said Tuesday that they had tapped a potentially huge new source of oil in the Gulf of Mexico’s deep waters, fueling hope that further discoveries in the region could help ease the nation’s oil supply woes. The successful test of one of the deepest oil wells ever drilled showed such promise that some believe the undersea oil pool could rank as the largest discovery of crude since Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay began producing nearly 40 years ago.
“An opportunity like this only comes once every few decades,” said Daniel Yergin, chairman of Cambridge Energy Research Associates in Massachusetts. “It holds out the prospect that this means more supply, and more supply is good news for consumers.”
The geologic formation being targeted by the Chevron group and others could begin producing oil steadily as early as 2012, and could yield 800,000 barrels of crude a day, or about 11% of total U.S. production, according to an August assessment of the region by Yergin’s firm.
San Ramon, Calif.-based Chevron, whose partners include Devon Energy Corp. of Oklahoma and Norway’s Statoil, wouldn’t quantify the size of its find, except to note that the gulf’s deep waters could hold 3 billion to 15 billion barrels of oil — at the high end, a more than 50% boost to U.S. petroleum reserves.
It’s a bit premature until drilling commences but FP’s Christine Chen believes we could be witnessing “An end to the end of oil?” Staggering, if true.