The New York Times
Published: September 6, 2006
An announcement yesterday by three oil companies of a successful production test in the Gulf of Mexico — potentially the largest American oil find in a generation — was seen by experts as ushering in a new era in ultra-deepwater offshore drilling.
Chevron, Devon Energy and Statoil ASA, the Norwegian oil giant, reported that they had found 3 billion to 15 billion barrels in several fields 175 miles offshore, 30,000 feet below the gulf’s surface, among formations of rock and salt hundreds of feet thick.
While it is too early to know exactly how big the fields are, the oil companies expressed hope that they had the potential of being even larger than those at Prudhoe Bay, off the northern coast of Alaska.
The United States has reserves of 29 billion barrels, meaning that at the high end of the estimates, the discovery could increase reserves by 50 percent. It comes as the output of oil and gas in shallower wells in the Gulf of Mexico, with about one-quarter of American oil reserves, is ebbing and environmental resistance to offshore drilling in areas closer to coastlines remains strong.
Did BP prevent chevron from gaining access to this oil?