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It would seem a natural consequence of geology that, over time, the rate at which new records are set would slow. That is indeed the case. We stopped publishing the table Chronological records of the deepest producing zones two years ago because it had not changed since 1980. Refer to past issues (1980 – 2001) if you are interested.
Fifty years ago, these tables saw considerable revision year-to-year. It is a reflection of the maturity of the US oil patch that these records are changing very little as time passes. The new depth record set in 2003 was in the Gulf of Mexico, where there is still some relatively underexplored territory. The 31,824-ft TVD well, named Tonga 1, was drilled by ChevronTexaco in Green Canyon Block 727 in December last year in 4,695 ft of water. The well had an impressive downhole pressure of 26,138 psi.
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