Huge Oil Discovery in Gulf of Mexico Underscores Importance of Exploration

Rob Bluey /


President Obama’s decision to allow some deepwater drilling to resume in the Gulf of Mexico is already yielding impressive results. ExxonMobil announced yesterday it had discovered what amounts to 700 million barrels of oil in the Gulf — the largest find in 12 years.

The discovery comes about two months after ExxonMobil had resumed drilling under new regulations put in place by the Obama administration. The company had drilled two wells at the site prior to last year’s oil spill, but was forced to cease work when the government imposed a moratorium on deepwater drilling. This new third well is 7,000 feet below water.

“This is one of the largest discoveries in the Gulf of Mexico in the last decade,” said Steve Greenlee, president of ExxonMobil Exploration Co.

The House Natural Resources Committee estimated the discovery would translate to 14 billion gallons of gas and more than two months of current U.S oil production.