Deepwater hydrocarbon production remains the fastest-growing upstream oil and gas segment with output expected to hit 10.4 million boe/d this year from just 300,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) in 1990.
Wood Mackenzie's report as cited by Rig Zone predicts that by the end of the decade, that figure will pass 17 million boe/d. equivalent to a 60% increase.
U.S. oil and gas major Exxon Mobil is the latest oil major to make a deepwater oil and gas find. Last month, Exxon announced that it had made two more discoveries at the Sailfin-1 and Yarrow-1 wells in the Stabroek block offshore Guyana, bringing discoveries on the block to more than 30 since 2015.
Exxon revealed that the Sailfin-1 well was drilled in 4,616 feet of water and encountered 312 feet of hydrocarbon-bearing sandstone, while the Yarrow-1 well was drilled in 3,560 feet of water and encountered 75 feet of hydrocarbon-bearing sandstone.
Exxon did not disclose how much crude oil or gas it estimates the new discoveries to contain, but hiked a previous output forecast for the third quarter from older discoveries in the region.
Exxon said a third project, Payara, is expected to launch by year-end 2023 while a fourth project, Yellowtail, could kick off operations in 2025.
Exxon is the operator of the Stabroek block where it holds a 45% interest while partners Hess Corp. and Cnooc hold a 30% and 25% interest, respectively.
In the oil and gas exploration and production (E&P) industry, deepwater is defined as water depth greater than 1,000 feet while ultra-deepwater is defined as greater than 5,000 feet.