Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted May 2, 2018
The most recent federal Gulf of Mexico oil and natural gas lease sale was described in some media reports as “disappointing,” “modest” and “tepid.” But there’s another, more positive way to look at it.
First, every offshore lease sale the federal government holds is welcome by industry, because each represents new opportunity for the market to work as it should – with companies making investment decisions based on the potential for significant natural gas and oil production.
A more important point underscored with the Gulf sale is one we’ve been making for some time – that the federal government needs to make available new offshore areas for study, research, exploration and development.
Posted February 8, 2018
As a nation, we have a tremendous opportunity to safely and efficiently harness our offshore natural gas and oil reserves. Here are three important points that should be prominent during the public hearing phase of the process to develop the next federal offshore leasing plan.
Posted December 11, 2017
Soon, the Interior Department is expected to release its draft offshore leasing program that will shape natural gas and oil development on the federal outer continental shelf (OCS) for the next five years, 2019-2024. Recognizing that the leasing program only outlines where lease auctions could be conducted, let’s take a look at some offshore basics to provide full context to a process that’s critically important to our country’s future energy security.
Posted November 1, 2017
A sensible, safe and forward-looking offshore energy strategy – one that acknowledges that keeping 94 percent of federal offshore acreage off limits to responsible development risks U.S. energy security – underscores the need for reliable scientific data to establish the size and location of offshore oil and natural gas reserves, through safe seismic testing. Every other discussion about where offshore development may occur in the years ahead is premature until the resource base is known. In this context, a recent claim that U.S. military priorities and offshore energy development in the Atlantic Ocean are mostly incompatible is just plain silly.
Posted October 12, 2017
What we see here are the outlines of a serious disconnect between current U.S. offshore policy and reality – that with the U.S. and the world projected to see significant growth in energy demand, the United States has more than 90 percent of its offshore reserves locked away, unavailable even for the studies and tests needed to determine the potential size and location of those reserves.Given the long lead times needed to develop the offshore, the United States’ current policy posture needs a course correction.
Posted August 18, 2017
Here’s the case for expanded opportunity within a new offshore oil and natural gas leasing program that federal officials are assembling: Safely developing American oil and natural gas on the outer continental shelf (OCS) is vital to the United States’ long-term energy and national security; we need new access to offshore areas, such as the Eastern Gulf of Mexico. Including them in the federal five-year plan will allow surveying to determine the location and size of oil and gas reserves; safe oil and natural gas production on the OCS could significantly boost local, regional and state economies; and advanced technologies, strong industry standards and a robust regulatory system work effectively together to protect workers, communities and the environment.
Posted June 29, 2017
Posted May 16, 2017
Last month’s presidential executive order aimed at increasing access to U.S. offshore natural gas and oil reserves is starting to bear fruit with two important developments from the Interior Department, which oversees access to federal offshore and onshore resources. … Both are welcome developments. America’s future energy security largely depends on safe development of offshore energy. Increasing access to offshore natural gas is critically important with 94 percent of federal offshore acreage currently off limits.
Posted June 22, 2016
It’s clear in a new Harris Poll on energy issues that Americans recognize the revolutionary opportunity that’s being afforded the United States by increased domestic energy production – consumer benefits, economic growth and increased security.
The poll’s registered voters see a new U.S. energy narrative, one of abundance that’s making America more self-reliant and stronger. Even more, those surveyed appreciate the fact that American-made energy is a path to future prosperity, and they want policies that help ensure that path is taken.
Posted April 27, 2016
BOEM’s DC meeting that followed others this month in New Orleans, Houston and a number of localities in Alaska, was an information smorgasbord. They had a video overview of the methodology in developing the leasing program that will guide offshore energy development from 2017 to 2022. They also had a number of tables with printed handouts, where BOEM staffers were available to talk about topics ranging from protected species to the human environment to acoustics in the water.
I asked a staffer if it was possible that someone knowing little to nothing about offshore energy and leasing could wander into BOEM’s meeting, watch the video, absorb the information handouts, talk to BOEM representatives and then submit an informed comment on the leasing proposal. “Yes,” he said. Neat.
BOEM had a number of laptops set up to receive electronic comments. I submitted mine the old-fashioned way, writing them out longhand on a form. I labored to print legibly.
Certainly, BOEM has been meticulous in developing its proposed leasing program. The final version that will come out early next year will say a lot about U.S. energy leadership and vision and the future of American energy. That’s how critically important our offshore reserves are.