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Soldiering on in the Gulf of Mexico

The oil-price slump has crimped activity in the Gulf of Mexico, but output will still rise in 2017

These are tough times for the Gulf of Mexico (GoM), arguably one of the most important provinces in America's - and maybe the world's - exploration and production sector. While GoM federal output accounts for 17% of US oil production and 5% of US dry-gas production, weaker oil prices over the past two years have taken a major bite out of upstream work. Still, the region will add more output in 2017. Drilling activity remains depressed. In early October, just 22 rigs were working in the Gulf, according to services firm Baker Hughes, down a whopping 61% from the 56 rigs that were working in the GoM just two years ago. Exploration and development work has come to a virtual standstill in the sh

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