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Dicker: Gulf of Mexico Drilling Makes a Comeback

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- I was talking today with Jim Cramer about the renaissance of deep-water oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

I think it's a particularly good place to search for value in the energy space because the Gulf has been left for dead since BP's (BP) massive Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010.

Gulf of Mexico production has suffered. It has fallen in each of the last three years and is now down almost 5% since 2009. The stocks most directly associated with the Gulf have badly underperformed the rest of the energy sector.

But the Gulf is clearly beginning its resurgence and is poised to do even better in growing production over the next several years than the more-hyped "tight oil" shale plays onshore.

Two game-changing events have recently indicated the renaissance in the Gulf.

First, two new discoveries of massive potential barrels have been found in just the last year: the Coronado find, 180 miles off of Louisiana and an enormous 6 miles deep; and the Shenandoah, 200 miles south of the Louisiana coast.

These two new finds add to the string of major new Gulf of Mexico successes since Deepwater Horizon. Second, the last Interior department auction for Gulf of Mexico leases proved just how hot the Gulf is again becoming, with average lease per acre increasing from $450 to more than $700.

I discuss the opportunities in the Gulf of Mexico and some of the stocks I believe are most likely to benefit in the coming several quarters with Jim in the video above.

At the time of publication, Dicker was long Anadarko Petroleum, but positions can change at any time.

This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

Dan Dicker has been a floor trader at the New York Mercantile Exchange with more than 25 years of oil trading experience. He is a licensed commodities trade adviser.

Dan is currently President of MercBloc LLC, a wealth management firm and is the author of "Oil's Endless Bid," published in March of 2011 by John Wiley and Sons.

Dan Dicker has appeared as an energy analyst since 2002 with all the major financial news networks. He has lent his expertise in hundreds of live radio and television broadcasts on CNBC, Bloomberg US and UK and CNNfn.

Dan obtained a bachelor of arts degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1982.

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