Deepwater exploration and development activities in the Gulf of Mexico have been increasing significantly over the past 5 years and the trend is expected to continue in the future. Early in 2000, the Minerals Management Service released the Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Operations and Activities Environmental Assessment Report (Deepwater EA). The Deepwater EA indentified numerous environmental issues related to deepwater operations. The Deepwater EA discussed the potential environmental concerns related to all aspects of deepwater exploration and production including seismic operations, drilling, production and transportation issues. This paper examines how environmental issues identified in the Deepwater EA will affect operations.

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