New Gulf of Mexico Projects—Houston Offshore Injury Lawyers

Typical Offshore Drilling rig

The Houston offshore injury lawyers at Morrow & Sheppard proudly represent injured offshore workers and their families in Jones Act and maritime lawsuits.

To assist in our representation, we work hard to stay current on developments in the Gulf of Mexico offshore drilling market. This article covers recently announced projects.

Gulf of Mexico Projects Announced At Houston OTC

Chevron Logo

At the recent Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, Texas, several promising new offshore exploration and production projects were announced. Examples include:

  • Chevron will continue to develop the Jack/St. Malo Fields. These prospects cover an area approximately the size of Rhode Island. They are located nearly 300 miles south of New Orleans, Louisiana, at an average water depth of 7,000 feet.
  • BP Exploration & Production is building new production line systems for the south side of its Thunder Horse drilling quarters unit. Thunder Horse is located in Mississippi Canyon (MC) blocks 778 and 822, at an average water dept of 6,200 feet. The Deep Blue subsea construction vessel will install the pipe.
  • Bennu Oil & Gas has contracted Ceona to install a flexible flowline and umbilical in the Mirage field in MC block 941.

Medium-Size Oil Companies Fill “Big Oil” Void In Gulf

LLOG Logo

As major oil companies temporarily cut exploration and production (E&P) budgets in response to low oil prices, less risk-averse and more aggressive medium-sized companies are attempting to fill the void. Stone Energy in Lafayette, Louisiana and LLOG in Covington, Louisiana are examples.

Unfortunately, many of these mid-size oil producers do not employ safe practices. Inadequate policies and procedures often lead to catastrophic offshore injuries. Time will tell if this will continue to be the case.

BP To Resume Bidding On New Gulf Leases

The ban on British Petroleum’s ability to bid on Gulf of Mexico lease auctions has been lifted, and the giant oil company intends to take full advantage. This week, BP announced that:

“[BP] has entered into an administrative agreement with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), on behalf of the federal government, resolving all matters related to the suspension, debarment and statutory disqualification of BP following the Deepwater Horizon accident and oil spill.  As a result of this agreement, BP is once again eligible to enter into new contracts with the US government, including new deep-water leases in the Gulf of Mexico.” “After a lengthy negotiation, BP is pleased to have reached this resolution, which we believe to be fair and reasonable,” said John Minge, Chairman and President of BP America, Inc. “Today’s agreement will allow America’s largest energy investor to compete again for federal contracts and leases.”

Gulf of Mexico Market Has Long-Term Promise

In the short term, activity in the Gulf of Mexico has declined significantly. There are currently fewer than 30 rigs active in the Gulf, less than half the number operating a year ago.

While the drop in crude prices has curbed many onshore projects, the long lead time involved in complex Gulf of Mexico exploration and production means many of those projects will continue to progress, albeit on a delayed basis.

When drilling resumed after the Deepwater Horizon Explosion, there was a tremendous spike in the number of Gulf of Mexico deepwater drilling permits granted, from 14 in 2010, to 603 in 2014.

Ultimately oil companies will have to use or lose these permits.

M&S Assists Injured Offshore Workers

The Texas offshore injury lawyers at Morrow & Sheppard are privileged to represent injured crewmen working for drilling contractors, oil company workers, and third party contractors who provide oilfield services.

If you or a loved one has been injured while working offshore, please contact us now for a free consultation, or click here for answers to common questions asked in these cases.