Record Set for Gulf Production Depth

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The feds say 15 rigs are drilling for oil and natural gas in the ultra-deepwater of the Gulf of Mexico at depths of 5,000 feet or greater.

The Minerals Management Service says that's a record number of drilling rigs for ultra-deepwater areas.

The report shows the continuation of a decade-long trend of petroleum explorers turning more to the deeper regions of the Gulf.

Currently, about 70 percent of the Gulf's oil production and 40 percent of its natural gas production come from depths of 1,000 feet or greater.

Last month, Anadarko Petroleum's Independence Hub, a semi-submersible platform located in 8,000 feet of water, began producing natural gas.

Officials say it's the world's largest offshore petroleum facility and deepest production platform.

Anadarko is based in The Woodlands.