Chief Federal Energy Analyst Says GOM Oil Bigger Part of Nation’s Energy Future Than Shale Plays

01 27, 2012 by Department of Natural Resources

DNR Secretary Scott Angelle Maintains Optimism on Continued Gulf Energy Investment

Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Secretary Scott Angelle on Friday said that the state has additional reinforcement for the belief that energy production in the federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico’s Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) will continue to grow and be a driver for jobs, businesses, Louisiana’s economy and the nation’s energy needs.

Howard Gruenspecht, acting administrator of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA), said at a Houston gathering of crude oil producers that shale oil production will continue to increase going forward, but will not be sustainable over the long term.

He noted that EIA analysts are predicting that oil production from the Gulf of Mexico is expected to begin increasing again in 2012, after having declined several hundred thousand barrels a day since the federal government’s declaration of a months-long moratorium in 2010 and the following slowing of permit approvals to resume drilling activity.

“We in Louisiana have continued to be bullish on the prospects of the Gulf of Mexico, even during the lows of the moratorium and the onset of oil shales, and have not forgotten the critical role it plays in fueling this nation,” Angelle said. “I am pleased to see that the federal government’s energy experts also understand the importance of the continued ability to develop the natural resources in the Gulf.”

Gruenspecht said that crude oil production from the Gulf of Mexico, which fell to an average of 1.3 million barrels a day in 2011, could rise to 2 million barrels a day or more by 2020 – and increase of 47 percent.

Angelle, who made a presentation to the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association in New Orleans on Thursday, has noted that progress has been made in restoring previous levels of drilling activity in the Gulf of Mexico, but work remains to be done to allow the area to fulfill its potential to provide energy, jobs and economic strength.