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Study Finds Offshore Energy Development in the Atlantic Could Increase Jobs, Investment & Government Revenue

WASHINGTON, December 5, 2013 – Opening the U.S. Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) to offshore oil and natural gas development could have remarkable benefits for job creation, U.S. energy security, domestic investment, and revenue to the government, according to a new study.

“Oil and natural gas production off our Atlantic coast is a potential gold mine,” said API Director of Upstream and Industry Operations Erik Milito. “Developing oil and natural gas in the Atlantic could put hundreds of thousands of Americans to work, make us more energy secure, and bring in needed revenue for the government. But none of these benefits will appear unless the federal government follows pro-development energy policies.”

According to the study, oil and natural gas development in the Atlantic OCS between 2017 and 2035 could:
  • Create nearly 280,000 new jobs along the East Coast and across the country. 
  • Result in an additional $195 billion in new private investment. 
  • Contribute up to $23.5 billion per year to the U.S. economy. 
  • Add 1.3 million barrels of oil equivalent per day to domestic energy production, which is about 70% of current output from the Gulf of Mexico. 
  • Generate $51 billion in new revenue for the government.

The Obama administration has been considering whether to allow seismic surveying in the Atlantic for the last five years and shortly will begin work on the next five-year offshore leasing program. Americans stand to benefit if seismic surveying permits are approved and the Atlantic and other offshore areas that have been kept off-limits are included in the next five-year leasing program.

“Major capital investments, job creation, and revenue to the government would all begin years before the first barrel goes to market,” said Milito. “Expanding offshore energy production would also send a strong signal to the energy markets that America is leading the world in developing energy resources, which could help put downward pressure on prices.”

An interactive, state-by-state map of the study’s results can be found at maps.api.org/offshore. The study was conducted by Quest Offshore Resources, Inc. at the request of API and the National Ocean Industries Association. Milito’s comments to reporters during a press conference call today are available here.

API is a national trade association that represents all segments of America’s technology-driven oil and natural gas industry. Its more than 550 members – including large integrated companies, exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms – provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of nearly 20 million Americans. The industry also supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy, delivers $85 million a day in revenue to our government, and, since 2000, has invested over $2 trillion in U.S. capital projects to advance all forms of energy, including alternatives.

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