Some energy firms are pursuing deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico despite an energy boom fueled by shale oil and natural gas exploration, observers say. Chevron is allocating $7.5 billion to drill in the Jack and St. Malo fields in the Gulf's Lower Tertiary area. The site could comprise nearly 50% of production in the Gulf by next decade's end, said Steve Thurston, Chevron's vice president of deep-water exploration and projects.

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