The oil and gas resources of the Gulf of Mexico basin are a major contribution to the geologically derived wealth of the basin. This chapter provides a concise, essentially quantitative description of those resources.
The description is divided into four parts. The first part indicates the overall amount of known petroleum resources within the basin and the distribution of these resources by product (crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids), by geographic area (subprovince), and by gross field size category. The second part discusses the history of petroleum exploration, discovery, and production within the basin.
The third part, the bulk of the chapter, describes the petroleum resources of the basin by stratigraphic unit. This description is divided into five major units: the Upper Jurassic, Lower Cretaceous, Upper Cretaceous, Paleogene, and upper Cenozoic (Neogene/Pleistocene). Within each of these units the discussion is organized by series, stage, or groups of stages. The description of each grouping covers the known amounts of petroleum, the distribution of these resources by field size categories, the producing trends within the grouping, and the fundamental factors of petroleum accumulation—reservoir, trap, seal, and source— within these trends. The chapter concludes with a brief discussion of why the Gulf of Mexico basin is so productive.
The limits on the size of this chapter do not permit discussions of even a few individual fields. For those who are interested in such discussions, many excellent publications (other than the references cited here) on oil and gas fields in the Gulf