The Minerals Management Service (MMS), Gulf of Mexico Region, released new oil and gas daily production rate projections that encompass the year 2006. According to the new report, Daily Oil and Gas Production Rate Projections From 2002 Through 2006, Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf, MMS is forecasting a daily oil production rate of between 2.00 and 2.47 million barrels by the end of 2006, and a daily gas production rate of between 10.97 and 16.39 billion cu. ft. by the end of the same year. These represent high case and low case estimates.
MMS Director Johnnie Burton called the new projections "a healthy, sizeable increase in the range of possible oil production. Should the high case estimates be reached in 2006, we will see a 160-percent increase in oil production from the Gulf in the period 1995-2006." Oil production has been rising steadily in the Gulf from 945,000 barrels a day in 1995. Director Burton noted that "should the high case projection be met in 2006, oil production would be at almost 2.5 million barrels a day versus the 945,000 barrels in 1995." Gulf oil production was an estimated 1.5 million barrels a day in 2001. Gulf deepwater oil production
surpassed shallow-water oil production in March 2000. According to these forecasts, as much as 77 percent of daily oil production in the Gulf and 26 percent of daily gas production could come from the deepwater Gulf of Mexico by 2006. Deepwater is defined as water depths 1,000 ft. or greater.