I've also been meaning to comment on this story -- the discovery of perhaps as many as 15 billion barrels of oil off the coast of Louisiana, 20,000 feet deep under 7000 feet of water. Amazing what you can find if you're allowed to look. Test rig is pumping 6000 barrels a day. More relevant, this ushers in a new technique in deep water drilling that could be utilized elsewhere. However, getting this new slource of energy to market will take some time -- three to five years probably at best, and it won't mean we can stop importing.
"A group led by Chevron has tapped a petroleum pool 270 miles south of New Orleans -- and almost 4 miles beneath the ocean floor -- in a region that could hold as much as 15 billion barrels of oil, or more than Alaska's Prudhoe Bay. "It confirms a new frontier, a new horizon in the ultra-deep water," said Daniel Yergin, chairman of Cambridge Energy Research Associates and author of "The Prize," the Pulitzer Prize-winning history of the oil industry. "It isn't energy independence," he added."
The speculation is that once developed, the new field could produce up to 750,000 barrels a day. At its height, the Prudhoe field produced 1.6 million, and it continues to produce about 400,000 today. The Arctic North slope field being blocked by environmental groups is thought to contain as much as 10 billion barrels.