Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Gulf of Mexico - Deepwater Development

All active oil and gas production platforms (pink dots) and pipelines (yellow) in the Gulf of Mexico

We just ran across an interesting pair of tables on the BOEMRE website listing all of the deepwater oil & gas wells (276) and production platforms (46) in the Gulf of Mexico. Thought we'd put them on a map to see the distribution. In this instance, "deepwater" means a water depth greater than 1,000 feet:

Deepwater oil and gas wells (yellow dots)

Deepwater oil and gas production platforms (pink dots)

Sharp-eyed viewers might note that there are several pink dots in deepwater on the "all platforms" map at the top of this post that don't appear in the "deepwater only" map above. Those extra dots mark the locations of subsea manifolds - structures on the seafloor that are connected by gathering pipelines to the nearest platform. This is a common development approach for deepwater fields, where massive (and very costly) platforms are designed to function as regional collection and processing "hubs."

By the way, the rumpled appearance of the Gulf seafloor where most of this deepwater drilling is taking place is a consequence of the salt-dome geology. Learn more about the Gulf of Mexico here.

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