Offshore greenfield sanctioning: a deep dive

May 10, 2019

Amidst the excitement surrounding recent advancements in the ultra-deepwater market, it’s easy to forget the offshore industry’s humble beginnings; a simple pier off the coast of California in 1897. In fact, until 1970, $150 billion (real dollars) worth of offshore projects were developed in 25 meters of water depth or less, accounting for 65% of the market. As exploration pushed farther from shore, deepwater offshore field development began to grow in the 1980s with the proliferation of advancing deepwater technology, such as semisubmersible drilling rigs, subsea trees, and floating production, storage and offloading vessels. By 2000, 15% of developed offshore resources worldwide were located a water depths beyond 150 meters. And when oil was discovered in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, West Africa, and Brazil in the 2000s, field development beyond 1000 meters began in earnest, marking the start of the deepwater industry.

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