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The US MMS released a summary of Lower Tertiary discoveries in the ultra-deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Lower Tertiary formations were deposited from about 65 million to about 35 to 23 million years ago. These discoveries vary in depth from 15,000 ft to 30,000 ft. "This trend," noted MMS Director Johnnie Burton, "could be as wide as 300 mi and involve as many as 3,000 blocks that MMS administers." Until these recent announcements, the reserve contribution of the Lower Tertiary in the Gulf was negligible. Ninety-nine percent of the GOM proved reserves were found in Miocene age (Upper Tertiary) sediments less than 23 million years old and younger, while 1% were in Jurassic and Cretaceous age sediments, 65 million years and older, which are primarily in nearshore areas off Louisiana and Alabama.

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