Yesterday, MMS announced its release of two reports regarding oil production in the Gulf of Mexico: the Gulf of Mexico Oil and Gas Production Forecast: 2009-2018 and the Deepwater Gulf of Mexico 2009: Interim Report of 2008 Highlights. These reports highlight the trend toward deepwater oil exploration and production. In 2008, oil and gas operators announced 15 deepwater discoveries and began 7 new projects in the Gulf; 57% of all Gulf leases were located in deepwater (defined as water depths of at least 1,000 feet).