Several years ago, Noble Energy migrated its Gulf of Mexico investments to deepwater where our activities are driven by exploration. Our focus is on high-impact opportunities with the potential to provide significant medium and long-term growth to the Company. With a track record of success in finding and developing crude oil and natural gas resources, we have several large producing fields, multiple ongoing development projects and a substantial inventory of additional exploration opportunities.
In early 2011, we received the industry's first permit to return to drilling in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico following the moratorium. The discovery at the Santiago prospect was our third successful oil well in the Galapagos project, where total gross discovered resources are approximately 130 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMBoe). Additional recovery potential and multiple follow-on opportunities increase Galapagos total resource potential to 250 MMBoe gross. First production from Galapagos (Isabela, Santa Cruz, and Santiago) was achieved in 2012 with initial production rates exceeding expectations.
Gunflint, a 2008 discovery, and Big Bend, a 2012 discovery, were sanctioned in 2013 and will provide the next leg of production growth for our deepwater Gulf of Mexico business. Big Bend, as part of the Rio Grande complex, will initially be a 1-well tieback with first production estimated in late 2015. Gunflint is planned to be a 2-well tieback to come online in mid-2016.
With an unrisked net exploration inventory of approximately 2 billion barrels of oil equivalent, we maintain a multi-year inventory of prospects focused on subsalt Miocene and proven amplitude plays.