Editorial

Deepwater Gulf of Mexico is leaner, smaller and ready to compete

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Deepwater operators are assessing projects through a value lens and not just chasing volume. Their objective? Making structural changes to help bring costs down and focus on capital discipline.

Smaller, simpler projects and infrastructure-led exploration are emerging as the right mix, with subsea tie-backs and infill drilling leading the way. With this focused approach, the Majors and Independents alike have been paring back their acreage. Meanwhile, smaller players are taking advantage of lower oil prices and lack of competition at lease sales to build up their positions.

The new modus operandi bodes well for large projects and the long-term health of an industry often hindered by a tendency to over-design and over-complicate projects.

Capital discipline and profitability are front and centre