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Explorers often use creaming curves-plots of cumulative volumes discovered versus cumulative wells drilled-to inform them of the relative maturity of a particular play or basin. In this article, we consider the creaming curve for the global deepwater plays, and look for any signs that the global deepwater opportunity is maturing. On first examination there appears to be very little that is mature about the deepwater areas. Since the first deepwater discovery was made in the Philippines in the mid-1970s, over 100 billion boe have been discovered in water depths greater than 400 m. To date, an average volume of just under 50 million boe has been discovered by deepwater wells. The implications of the creaming curve seem to be that this average can be maintained. Indeed, the average volume per well over the last 100 wells has been in excess of 100 million boe.
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