The Gulf of Mexico is the "crown jewel" of the country's Outer Continental Shelf, said Tommy Beaudreau, director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. "[We] cannot lose sight of the fact that the Gulf of Mexico still has the greatest, by a large margin, untapped resource potential in the entire United States [outer continental shelf]," Beaudreau said during the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association's annual meeting. Based on BOEM estimates, the Central Gulf of Mexico contains undiscovered resources of more than 30 billion barrels of oil and 133.9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, he said.

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