OTC: Has the term 'deepwater' become outdated?

The federal office that regulates oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico released a report at OTC showing that 72 percent of the crude oil produced in the Gulf now comes from deep water fields.
It’s a dramatic figure considering deepwater oil production in the Gulf did not exist until 1979.
But elements of the report may seem a bit dated to some. Like the use of the term “deepwater,” which the government defines as any field located in more than 1,000 feet of water.
Today, many in the industry are focused on the technical challenges involved in operating in water depths up to 10,000 feet.
Some drilling companies, operating in those depths, now use “midwater” to describe water depths roughly between 1,000 and 5,000 feet. To many of them, “deepwater” is anything beyond. Some also use “ultra deep” water to refer to water deeper than 5,000 feet.
The mix of terms can create confusion and underscore how fast the offshore oil and gas industry is changing. The terms can’t even keep up with the activity.
To go more in depth — so to speak — on the Mineral Management Service’s deepwater Gulf of Mexico report, issued Monday, read the story in today’s Chronicle.
Or to view the entire report, visit the office’s Web site.