LOGA President: First deepwater drilling permit is a step in the right direction - more are needed

Source: Louisiana Oil & Gas Association

LOGA President Don Briggs’ Comments on Obama Administration’s Issuance of First Deepwater Drilling Permit

“The Obama Administration approved the first permit to drill a deepwater well in the Gulf of Mexico on Monday. The issuance of this permit marks the first deepwater permit allocated since the enactment of the federal drilling moratorium imposed after the BP oil spill last spring. The permit allocated to Noble Energy represents a significant landmark for offshore oil & gas companies and the federal government.”

“The Administration’s decision to issue this permit is positive news for offshore oil & gas companies, and also great news for many people in the Gulf Coast region. Since the enactment of the federal drilling moratorium and the subsequent de facto moratorium, businesses of all sizes and hardworking individuals have felt the negative impacts of economic uncertainty and job loss.”

“While the issuance of the first deepwater permit is certainly a positive step in the right direction, the federal government must ensure that a streamlined process is established to issue additional permits to all companies that meet the new offshore safety standards and requirements.”

“In addition, it is imperative that the Administration also works to alleviate the ongoing de facto moratorium that has shutdown shallow water operations in the Gulf of Mexico. The intention of the federal drilling moratorium was to only affect deepwater wells. Since the moratorium was instituted in April of last year, only 37 shallow water permits have been issued.”

“We commend President Obama and officials at the BOEMRE for moving forward with the issuance of this permit. However, much work must be done to ensure that companies who have met all federal requirements receive permits. Without a streamlined process established we will continue to see job loss, a rig exodus, and curtailed domestic production. With rising energy prices and turmoil in the Middle East taking a turn for the worst, it is more important than ever that we get back to work in the Gulf of Mexico and ensure our nation’s energy future.”

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