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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

Houston Geological Society Bulletin


Houston Geological Society Bulletin, Volume 39, No. 2, October 1996. Pages 12-12.

Abstract: Gulf of Mexico Shelf: Exploration in a Mature Province


Ken Butler
Shelf E&P Division, Shell Offshore Inc.

The Gulf of Mexico Shelf is a mature province where the discovery of new, profitable hydrocarbon reserves is a difficult endeavor. However, through the aggressive application of technology and innovative tactics, industry has responded to the difficult environment, and the Shelf has reemerged as a viable, active exploratory arena. Some key components of the current Shelf exploratory environment are as follows:

  • Use of multidisciplinary work teams and an emphasis on integrating exploration and development activity
  • Work process examination and improvement
  • Application of leading-edge technology (for Previous HitexampleNext Hit, 3-D seismic and horizontal drilling)
  • Use of Information Technology and interpretive workstations to provide flexible, cross-disciplinary access to subsurface Previous HitdataNext Hit
  • Continued reduction in cycle time from discovery to first production
  • Use of innovative structure designs for development in order to keep costs and cycle time low; emphasis on lowering Previous HitfieldNext Hit production costs
  • Pursuit of new play concepts (for Previous HitexampleTop, sub-salt)

The Shelf should continue to be an active, thriving arena for years to come. This will require a continued openness to learning, to the application of new technology and tactics, and to maintaining cost effectiveness and productivity.

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