BOEM Releases Estimated Oil and Gas Reserves for Gulf of Mexico

Release Date

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has released a new report on the estimated oil and gas reserves in the Gulf of Mexico Region on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). Findings of this report include:

  • The “original reserves,” which is a combination of cumulative production and the reserves, include 26.77 billion barrels of oil and 197.0 trillion cubic feet of gas from 1,325 oil and gas fields, which include 911 fields that have produced and expired. 
  • Cumulative production from all fields accounts for 22.12 billion barrels of oil and 190.9 trillion cubic feet of gas.
  • Reserves are estimated to be 4.65 billion barrels of oil and 6.1 trillion cubic feet of gas. These reserves are recoverable from 414 active fields. Reserves in this report are discoverable, recoverable, and commercially viable.
  • Oil reserves have increased 35.2 percent and the gas reserves have increased 7.0 percent since the 2018 report. These increases are the result of six new fields being added during the reporting period.

BOEM develops independent estimates of natural gas and oil in previously discovered OCS fields by conducting field reserve studies and reviews of fields, sands, and reservoirs. BOEM then revises the estimates of natural gas and oil volumes to reflect new discoveries, development, and annual production.

In addition to providing estimates of discovered reserves discussed above, BOEM also publishes estimates of undiscovered oil and gas resources. For the Gulf of Mexico, BOEM’s 2021 assessment includes a mean undiscovered technically recoverable resource (UTRR) volume of 29.59 billion barrels of oil and 54.84 trillion cubic feet of gas.  The undiscovered resources in the 2021 assessment and the discovered resources in the latest reserves report comprise BOEM’s estimate of the total oil and gas endowment in the Gulf of Mexico.

The estimates of reserves for this report represent the combined efforts of engineers, geoscientists, paleontologists, petrophysicists, and other personnel from BOEM’s Gulf of Mexico Region.

The new report contains verified production data through December 31, 2019, and supersedes BOEM’s December 2018 report on estimated oil and gas reserves.

-- BOEM --

The Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is responsible for America’s offshore energy and mineral resources. The bureau promotes energy independence, environmental protection and economic development through responsible, science-based management of energy and mineral resources on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf.