MONROE, La. (KNOE) – The U.S. Energy Information Administration expects to see a total of nine natural gas and oil fields come online in the Gulf of Mexico by the end of this year.
The agency released its latest energy outlook report recently and predicts to see oil prices come down over the course of 2022 into 2023. However, they warn there are still some question marks adding volatility to the global market, such as the availability of Russian oil, decisions by Middle Eastern countries regarding their oil output and even the possibility of natural disasters, therefore prices coming down is not 100% certain.
The U.S. is a powerhouse producer of oil and consumes at just as high a level, but the nature of the resource requires that it be traded on the global market. Crude oil’s density and sulfur content varies by region and has to be matched to a refinery capable of processing the crude based on those factors. For that reason, crude oil is bought and sold around the world and prices are very much a global affair.
After being stalled by the pandemic in 2020, U.S. oil production continues to rise back toward record levels seen prior to the worldwide shutdowns. It’s not quite there yet, but EIA has identified several specific projects that will help sustain production levels in the Gulf of Mexico.
EIA said, “We expect the large development fields of Argos, King’s Quay, and Vito to begin production in 2022. Each has a peak production capacity of 100,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (MBOE/d) or more, and each is the result of a focused effort to lower the costs of field developments. Offshore producers have made significant progress simplifying and standardizing floating production systems and collaborating with various partners, including overseas construction services companies, to reduce total costs and remain competitive with onshore producers.”
BP describes Argos on its website: “As a semi-submersible, floating production platform, Argos will provide bp with an estimated 25% increase in production capacity in the region when it comes online in 2022. Nearly 200 miles south of New Orleans, the Argos platform operates at a water depth of 4,500 feet, and can produce up to 140,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day (boe/d) through a subsea production system from 14 production wells.”
Another major project is in the hands of Murphy Oil. It’s called the King’s Quay Floating Production System and consists of the floating platform plus wells at three oil fields: Khaleesi, Mormont and Samurai.
The graphic above shows the locations of the nine oil fields expected to be online by the end of the year.
Finally, EIA notes, “Fields expected to start in 2022 may shift into our 2023 forecast if their start-up dates are pushed back. In addition, fields expected to start in 2024 could begin earlier, resulting in changes to our initial production forecasts.”
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