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Since initial exploration success more than a century ago in onshore California, more than 872 discoveries with total reserves >137 billion barrels oil equivalent (BBOE) have been made in deep-water deposits. A rapid increase in such discoveries began in the 1970s and more than 350 are expected in this decade based on historic trends.

More than 80% of these discoveries are in offshore basins. North America dominates the number of total discoveries as well as reserves but there is an increasing number of African and Brazilian discoveries and fields. Reservoir rocks range in age from Ordovi-cian to Pleistocene. However,...

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