Acadiana Business

Gulf of Mexico returns - with a vengeance

by Leslie Turk

Not only did the sky not fall when a drilling moratorium was put in place after the Deepwater Horizon explosion, but a rainbow has appeared over the Gulf of Mexico. The Gulf of Mexico has rebounded from the drilling moratorium of 2010 to become the fastest-growing deepwater region in the world. A story posted Wednesday on says producers will need $16 billion worth of additional rigs to handle the renewed activity.

Photo courtesy Shell

On July 13, the Royal Dutch Shell Plc Olympus tension leg platform took off on a 10-day, 425-mile voyage from Kiewit Offshore Services in Ingleside, Texas, to Mars B Field in the Gulf of Mexico.

The story notes that because of the five-month drilling moratorium issued by the Obama administration, some deepwater drilling rigs left for other countries like West Africa and Brazil. And while they are now returning to the Gulf, most of the growth is being fueled by new orders for more sophisticated deepwater rigs, which bodes well for Lafayette's service sector.

The revival, according to the story, will add to surging crude oil supplies from the U.S. shale boom. Gulf production is expected to climb 23 percent to 1.55 million barrels a day by December 2014, up from 1.26 million in March.

Bloomberg's piece supports what local industry officials have been telling ABiz about the state of the industry: barring some unforeseen occurrence, Lafayette is primed for at least a decade of good times in the oil patch.

Read the story here.