Gulf oil exploration seeing steady recovery after 2010 moratorium

Oil exploration in the Gulf of Mexico has started to climb back toward the record highs seen at the end of the last decade before the devastating oil spill at the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, according to The Wall Street Journal.

At its peak in 2009, offshore oil wells in the Gulf accounted for around one-third of U.S. oil production, playing a major part in the reversal of the long decline in American oil output.

Between the moratorium on offshore oil exploration following the spill and the rise of production from U.S. unconventional oil reserves, the Gulf's share of output has fallen to around 20 percent and is expected to continue falling.

However, offshore oil exploration in the region has begun to rise rapidly once again, as more companies look to take advantage of the higher oil prices available to crude produced in these coastal regions. Within the next 10 years, production is projected to rise by roughly 28 percent.

Already Reuters reports that BP has seen its activities in the Gulf reach nearly the same level as before the Macondo disaster, with eight rigs expected to be in operation by the end of the the year.

An outlook for oil exploration in the Gulf of Mexico can be found at PennEnergy's Research area.

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