Louisiana Department of Natural Resources Secretary Scott Angelle announces ExxonMobil Corporation has made the first major post-moratorium oil and gas discovery in the Gulf of Mexico. ExxonMobil estimates this discovery will produce more than 700 million barrels of oil, making this one of the largest discoveries in the Gulf in the last decade. ExxonMobil is utilizing several Louisiana companies to support the exploration activity, including Lafayette-based PHI, Incorporated for helicopter travel. The well is located 250 miles southwest of New Orleans in about 7,000 feet of water.

(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

 

“This is a great day for the Gulf of Mexico offshore energy industry and a great day for America,” said Angelle.  “One year since our fight to lift the moratorium on deepwater drilling began, ExxonMobil has made one of the largest Gulf of Mexico discoveries in ten years.  This discovery proves that the Gulf of Mexico offshore industry is capable of finding the fuel that energizes America in a safe and responsible manner.  The presence of this activity also impacts Louisiana’s businesses and communities in a positive way.”
“Through the Back to Work Coalition’s persistence in deciphering and improving the deepwater permitting process, discoveries like Exxon Mobil’s can happen and can continue to happen,” added Angelle.  “It is critical that we continue the dialogue with the federal government to ensure that permits are issued in a timely manner so that discoveries like this can continue to strengthen America’s energy security and provide affordable energy for all Americans.”
 
Congressman Jeff Landry, the House’s leading authority on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, released the following statement about the huge find:

"I’m not surprised Exxon found oil where it said it would find oil. If BOEMRE would be more proactive in removing barriers rather than impeding the permitting process – especially when it involves companies who have proven to drill safely in the Gulf of Mexico like Exxon, then we would be further down the road in weaning America off foreign oil and reducing our energy prices."