Houston Offshore Injury Lawyers — December 2015 Gulf Drilling Update
Houston offshore injury lawyers at Morrow & Sheppard LLP monitor developments in the offshore drilling business, with an emphasis on Gulf Coast operations offshore Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida.
W&T Offshore Discovers Massive Oil & Gas Reserve In Gulf Of Mexico
In December 2015, W&T Offshore announced that it has discovered a large oil and gas reserve in the Ewing Banks 954 A-8 exploratory well in the Gulf of Mexico.
The CEO of W&T Offshore, Tracy Krohn, was excstatic about the discovery, stating “We are especially pleased with the high-quality pay sands found in the A-8 well, which should allow for higher reserve recovery. This discovery also helps de-risk several additional opportunities we have identified as part of our future plans to drill and develop the area.”
Production is expected to begin in 2016.
About W&T Offshore
W&T Offshore describes itself as follows:
“Founded in 1983, W&T is an independent oil and natural gas acquisition, exploitation and exploration company, with a focus primarily in the Gulf of Mexico. Our outstanding technical expertise combined with the high production rates associated with hydrocarbon deposits in the Gulf have historically provided us excellent opportunities to achieve a rapid payback on our invested capital.
We own working interests in 60 fields in federal and state waters and have interests in leases covering approximately 1.0 million gross acres.
W&T became a public company in 2005 and trades on the NYSE under the symbol ‘WTI.’”
Noble Corporation: GOM Offshore Drilling To Get Worse In Near-Term, But Will Be One Of First Markets To Recover
Noble Corporation is one of the busiest offshore drillers in the Gulf of Mexico. 11 of Noble’s 32 offshore drilling rigs operate in the Gulf. Five of the rigs have contracts that are set to expire by the end of 2016, and four more expire in 2017.
Offshore drilling is boom-or-bust. Faced with an abundance of onshore shale and an uncertain short-term future for oil prices, many oil and gas exploration companies have turned their attention away from offshore, particularly shallow water, and are looking to safer land-based plays.
However, the significant potential upside, coupled with the well-built delivery and storage infrastructure in the Gulf, make drilling offshore Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi an attractive long-term option. For that reason, Noble has a very optimistic medium-term view of the market.
According to the company’s website:
“Noble is a leading offshore driller.
The Company’s proactive style of management has guided it from a one rig operation in 1921 to one of the largest offshore drilling contractors in the world today. The Company’s growth since the time of its spin-off from Noble Affiliates in 1985 has come about through a series of strategic acquisitions of offshore drilling assets.
These acquisitions follow the goals originally set forth in 1985 – to gain a strong position in foreign drilling markets, to expand marine drilling operations and to move into new markets and segments of the industry, preparing the Company to take advantage of an improved marketplace.
Noble has been successful by maintaining a conservative financial policy, positioning itself to adapt to the ever changing world energy market and meeting customers’ needs and demands. At the same time, the Company has assimilated an experienced and well trained work force. . .
Noble will continue to perpetuate [its] heritage by providing the highest quality service and performance; which its customers, employees and shareholders have come to know and expect.”
Offshore Injuries And Fatalities Are Always A Risk
Despite advancements in technology and safety, work offshore remains dangerous. Oftentimes companies will take shortcuts to save money, and this can lead to personal injuries and wrongful deaths.
Many injured offshore workers and their families are entitled compensation under Jones Act, Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA), or other law.
Pursuing a legal claim in situations covered by the Jones Act can be critically important to injured workers and their families, because Jones Act seamen generally do not have access to workers’ compensation. As a result, a lawsuit is often the only way to be compensated for pain and suffering and lost income when an injury occurs on an offshore vessel like a drillship, semisubmersible, or jack-up rig.
Oil Continues To Flow In Gulf
As the Dallas Morning News has reported, while production in land oil fields around the United States has been dipping for months, many deepwater projects in the Gulf of Mexico have continued.
Oil production from platforms off the coast of Texas and Louisiana rose 10 percent in 2015, and are projected to increase even more in 2016. This is largely because deepwater offshore projects take years to plan and execute. That means they are not as susceptible to short-term market dips as are land plays.
For example, Anadarko continues to develop its Shenandoah field, and Chevron is still drilling its 5,100-foot-water-depth Anchor field.
Still, many companies have scaled back, particularly on exploratory wells in Gulf of Mexico regions where reserves are not proven.
International Energy Agency Predicts $80 Oil By 2020
Offshore drillers and oil companies have reason to hope business will pick up again. In November 2015, the International Energy Agency (IEA) predicted that oil prices will rebalance to $80 by 2020.
About The International Energy Agency (IEA)
The IEA describes its purpose as follows:
“[the IEA] is an autonomous organisation which works to ensure reliable, affordable and clean energy for its 29 member countries and beyond. The IEA has four main areas of focus: energy security, economic development, environmental awareness and engagement worldwide.
Founded in 1974, the IEA was initially designed to help countries co-ordinate a collective response to major disruptions in the supply of oil such as the crisis of 1973/4.
While this remains a key aspect of its work, the IEA has evolved and expanded. It is at the heart of global dialogue on energy, providing authoritative statistics and analysis.
An autonomous organisation, the IEA examines the full spectrum of energy issues and advocates policies that will enhance the reliability, affordability and sustainability of energy in its 29 members countries and beyond.
The four main areas of IEA focus are:
Energy security: Promoting diversity, efficiency and flexibility within all energy sectors;
Economic development: Ensuring the stable supply of energy to IEA member countries and promoting free markets to foster economic growth and eliminate energy poverty;
Environmental awareness: Enhancing international knowledge of options for tackling climate change; and
Engagement worldwide: Working closely with non-member countries, especially major producers and consumers, to find solutions to shared energy and environmental concerns.”
Morrow & Sheppard Assist Injured Offshore Workers Nationwide
Morrow & Sheppard are privileged to handle claims brought on behalf of injured offshore workers and injured maritime workers.
If you or a loved one has been injured working offshore or on the high seas, call us now at 1-800-489-2216 for a free consultation. We handle maritime injury cases nationwide.