Wall Street Journal
After Spill, Gulf Oil Drilling Rebounds

Friday, September 21, 2012

Production Dipped After Deepwater Horizon Disaster; New Finds Will Lift Output 28% in a Decade

After a steep drop in oil production in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the U.S. Gulf of Mexico is set for an energy boom.

Gulf oil flows will increase by nearly 28% by 2022 to 1.8 million barrels per day, according to consulting firm Bentek Energy. Output will be boosted by huge projects like Exxon Mobil Corp.'s XOM +0.74%Hadrian field 250 miles off the coast of Louisiana and Chevron Corp.'s CVX +0.08%nearby Jack and St. Malo projects.

The Gulf accounted for nearly a third of U.S. oil production as recently as 2009. But onshore oil production has surged as oil companies use new extraction techniques to tap dense shale formations in places like the Eagle Ford shale Texas and the Bakken shale North Dakota. The Gulf now accounts for just 20% of U.S. output, and that number is predicted to decline to 15% by 2022 despite the expected surge in Gulf production.

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