Originally Posted by GermanStar
What about the recent Chevron finds in the Gulf? How many years will it take to develop, exploit, and expend that source alone? With some luck and ingenuity, possibly longer than we'll be dependent on that fuel source.
That is going to be a helluva difficult prospect to exploit. aside from the tremendous technological challenge, it is located in one of the most hurricane-prone portions of the GOM (looking at historical tracks back to 1850). everytime a hurricane enters the GOM they're going to have to shut-down that rig-ship (it's floating in 4 miles-deep water) and move it out of harm's way. Loss of that vessel would halt production from that prospect until a new one could be built: 2-3 years.
If oil prices drop below $40/bbl that prospect may not pay for itself so they'll likely shut it down until prices return to an economically sustainable rate.
the size of the play is not well known yet. The estimates vary by nearly 100%. Until more development is conducted on the field the estimate will not be especially firm.
Also, the current high prices make recovery from fields that were exhausted at $30/bbl suddenly interesting at $65-$70/bbl. Land seismic exploration is going-on all across the Gulf Coastal states from west TX to OK, AR and across LA, MS, AL and northern FL. Offshore seismic exploration is now looking at depths that were unimagined only 5-10 years ago. Good seismic records are being acquired down below 40,000 ft--beyond what drilling technology can reach...now. But the money is there for innovation and exploitation.
This will change the reserves estimate for every field.
However, it is also a good idea to remember that petroleum is a finite resource. It is exhaustible and at the rate we're consuming it, there's a good chance our grandchildren will curse us for our lack of self-control.