Fat new oil deposits found in the Gulf of Mexico
Beneath some 20,000 feet of earth and 7,000 feet of water, 175 miles off the U.S. coast in the Gulf of Mexico, lies an enormous field of oil and gas — enough to potentially double U.S. oil reserves. The lucky SOBs who found it are oil giant Chevron and partners Devon Energy Corp. and Statoil ASA, via the modestly named Jack No. 2 test well. Petro-experts predict that the field found by Jack No. 2 will ultimately produce anywhere from 3 billion to 15 billion barrels, the high end of which could match or exceed previous record holder Prudhoe Bay in Alaska. Of course, this kind of ultra-deepwater drilling is extremely tech-intensive and pricey; it’s only worth it if oil stays at or above $40 per barrel. And production won’t be online for three to five years or so. And the U.S. uses 7.5 billion barrels of crude a year, so even 15 billion would only get us two years. And other U.S. fields are declining. But never mind all that: no addict’s going to turn down a stash this big!
Get Grist in your inbox