The Gulf of Mexico is a prolific oil and natural gas region and one of the largest sources of supply to the U.S. market.
The ultra deepwater areas—those with water depths of 1,520 metres (5,000 feet) and over — have very large reservoirs, and despite recent commodity price declines, large producers are continuing to explore the ultra deepwater Gulf. The U.S. Department of the Interior recently forecast that oil production in the Gulf of Mexico will increase substantially over the next several years, possibly reaching 1.8 million bpd.
Enbridge has the best positioning of any provider in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.
Enbridge serves a majority of the strategically located deepwater host platforms, and our extensive presence in the region positions us well to capture new opportunities both in gas gathering and crude oil.
Enbridge offshore pipelines currently transport about 50% of all deepwater Gulf of Mexico natural gas production and include joint-venture interests in 13 transmission and gathering pipelines in five major pipeline corridors in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama offshore waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
In 2009, Enbridge announced two new projects for the Gulf of Mexico ultra deepwater—the Walker Ridge Gas Gathering System and the Big Foot Oil Pipeline—both of which are structured to strengthen returns and align more closely to the reliable business model of Enbridge's traditional businesses.
Gas and oil production is expected to grow based on the discovery of large new reservoirs in the ultra deepwater Gulf of Mexico. Enbridge has the existing infrastructure and the technical capabilities required to capture these new growth opportunities.
In 2009, Enbridge secured two major offshore projects in the ultra deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The Walker Ridge Gas Gathering Project will be constructed over 306 kilometres (190 miles) and at depths up to 2,130 metres (7,000 feet) and the Big Foot Oil Pipeline at depths up to 1,800 metres (5,900 feet) over 64 kilometres (40 miles). Delivering such projects requires strong technical skills, world-class contractors and exceptional project management capabilities. Enbridge has a strong team with an established track record in the Gulf Coast. Those attributes, combined with our extensive infrastructure, position us well to capture opportunities from new oil and natural gas finds in the region.