The US Gulf of Mexico Oil & Gas Infrastructure & Integrity Map To 2017

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Press Release on 16/04/2012

Offshore Technology Conference - Booth 8851

Release: Immediate



Information Sources:

Offshore Energy Database, Infield Offshore EnergyGateway Mapping System


1,503.5mm (w) by 1,055.5mm (h)

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Infield Systems, one of the world’s leading specialist offshore oil and gas market analysts, has charted the infrastructure of the US Gulf of Mexico (US GoM) from the earliest developments back in the 1940’s, through to the current day, as well as all future projects being planned or considered for development until 2017. The second edition of the Gulf of Mexico Infrastructure & Integrity Map To 2017 is being launched on 30th April 2012 at the Offshore Technology Conference (Houston, Texas 30 April to 3 May). Visitors and exhibitors to OTC 2012 will have the opportunity to collect free copies of this new map from Infield Systems’ booth - 8851.

The discovery of large quantities of oil and gas in the US Gulf of Mexico has been one of the most dramatic events in the post-war history of the US. Over the years, the Gulf of Mexico has developed into an area with an extensive installed operational infrastructure of over 3,275 platforms, 669 subsea units including 503 subsea satellite templated wells and 6,855 pipelines, equating to over 47,000km. As Infield Systems tracks all historic, currently operational and future oil and gas field developments, decommissioned platform facilities and depleted fields are also displayed on this unique map. Infield Systems’ Gulf of Mexico map is the only one of its kind and includes locations for this region’s vast infrastructure and the current status of developments.

This pioneer region has long been the subject of intense industry focus and never more so than now. With an ageing infrastructure, new and more stringent licensing regulations and many developments either past peak production or at the end of their productive life, operators are keen to utilise technological advancements to maximise production from aging and marginal fields. Whilst depending upon this ageing infrastructure has not restricted the growth of modern field developments, the cost and time saving benefits may be outweighed by increased operating costs and transit costs, as well as the increased potential for leakage, and all its associated risks.

In the wake of Macondo, a series of environmental safeguards were implemented which included heightened drilling safety standards to reduce the chances that a loss of well control may occur, in addition to a new focus on containment capabilities in the event of a spill. Almost two years after the Macondo disaster, activities within the US GoM are finally getting back on track. There has been a significant recovery in permits issued and drilling activity - since February 2011, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has approved 332 deepwater permit applicants where subsea containment is required. The recent spill at Shell’s Appomattox prospect has, however, served to remind the industry of the risks involved in operating in these challenging waters. Whilst environmental opposition remains heightened, with some of the highest energy consumption levels in the world and with an increasing number of prospects in deep and ultra deepwater zones in particular, the US GoM remains highly attractive to operators, despite the tighter regulatory demands.

Gulf of Mexico Market Overview:

The Super Majors are expected to remain dominant in the area and in terms of reserve additions, the Walker Ridge Jack and St Malo joint hub development, expected on-stream in 2017 at water depths of 2,123 and 2,103 metres respectively, place Chevron as the leading ultra-deepwater operator in terms of reserves on-stream during the period. ExxonMobil, however, remains one of the largest lease holders within the US GoM. Barriers to entry within the area remain low, and as such, Independent operators are also expected to play an increasingly prominent role within the area, with key projects including Anadarko’s Lucius Spar.

Infield Systems expects capital expenditure across all market sectors to continue to increase. Installations at water depths of over 1,500 metres are anticipated to require the greatest levels of investment with a 59% market share of Capital Expenditure (Capex) over the 2012 to 2017 timeframe. Capex is expected to be dominated by the pipeline market sector, comprising 41% of spend. Within this, Chevron, the leading operator in terms of pipeline investment, is expected to focus expenditure upon the BOOTs Import-to-Shore export pipeline in addition to capital intensive SURF line installations on the ultra-deepwater Moccasin field.

As a direct result of the changes implemented in response to the Macondo disaster, there has been a change to the forecast for platform installations within the GoM region, most significantly, a 23% decline in installations in the deep and ultra-deep-water market between 2012 and 2017. Nevertheless, deep and ultra-deepwater capital expenditure is expected to remain strong, with the deepest installation expected to be at depths of 2,300 metres on Shell’s Walker Ridge Stones project.

With 13.4bn barrels of oil and gas reserves forecast to come on-stream during the next 5 years, the US GoM remains a major focus for the industry as a whole.


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