Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted July 17, 2019
Legislation in Congress that could cripple future U.S. offshore energy development needs to be seen for the longer-term damage it could do to America’s strategic energy and national security.
One House bill would permanently extend a moratorium on development in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico; another would permanently bar leasing in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
Given projected growth in America’s energy needs, such shortsighted legislation fails the test of leadership in setting energy policy that will enhance and protect our nation’s strategic interests.
Posted June 6, 2019
Following past White House precedent, President Trump recently designated June 2019 as National Ocean Month in recognition of the ocean’s role in supporting the U.S. economy, national security and environment, while recommitting to safeguard its vital resources.
The U.S. offshore energy industry wholeheartedly supports the sentiments in the president’s proclamation and demonstrates this day in and day out.
Posted May 7, 2019
Four students from The Village School in Houston are winners of the Offshore Technology Conference’s high school competition, the OTC Energy Challenge, which focuses students on working on real-world issues.
They represent the next generation of women and men who no doubt will be at the forefront of meeting future challenges associated with the production and use of energy.
Posted May 2, 2019
Offshore energy development has delivered yet another economic and conservation boost to states – this time to the tune of $215 million.
The U.S. Department of the Interior disbursed the funds last week to the four Gulf natural gas and oil producing states – Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, and their coastal political subdivisions – for use toward coastal conservation and hurricane protection projects. And the best part? Not a single dollar came from taxpayers.
Posted April 30, 2019
Soon the federal government is expected to release its updated offshore well control rule, one that improves on its 2016 predecessor by providing flexibility to meet specific challenges across a variety of offshore conditions while encouraging innovation and technologies that help improve safety.
We expect that opponents of natural gas and oil development anywhere to attack the updated rule when it’s released. Yet, fact and logic will weigh heavily against them.
Posted April 17, 2019
With the Trump administration nearing release of a new five-year offshore leasing plan for oil and natural gas, offshore energy has never been safer or stronger – thanks to initiatives and technologies designed to enhance worker safety and protect the environment. (See this post dispelling offshore energy myths.) Below, 10 important developments that have strengthened the vitally important work of harnessing America’s offshore energy.
1. Center for Offshore Safety
The Center for Offshore Safety (COS) is an industry-led initiative to promote continuous safety improvement for offshore drilling, completions and operations through effective leadership, communication, teamwork, disciplined management systems and independent third-party auditing and certification.
Posted March 7, 2019
In this post last week we explained how alternative measures, approved by federal officials, may be used to comply with the 2016 well control rule, as well as all regulatory requirements associated with offshore oil and natural gas development. …
Now the federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) is chiming in – not surprising, since the agency’s integrity was besmirched. In a letter to members of Congress this week, Lars Herbst, BSEE’s Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf regional director, called the regulatory provision for alternative procedures or equipment “long-standing,” having been granted by the previous administration as well as the current one. Herbst writes that “zero” waivers have been granted by BSEE regarding the well control rule.
Posted February 28, 2019
Months before the federal offshore well control rule went into effect in July 2016, API told Congress the safety regulation could actually increase risks associated with offshore oil and natural gas development – that its rigid requirements could stifle innovation and thwart the effectiveness of new operational technologies.
The 2016 rule is an example of “prescriptive” regulation, a one-size-fits-all approach that requires certain processes, procedures and tests. It was and is the wrong approach for offshore safety – mainly because every oil and natural gas well has different characteristics: geology, depth, water pressure and temperature and other variables that factor into developing the best safety plan for a particular well.
In that context offshore operators seek government-approved alternative compliance paths – which they’ve done since the rule’s launch in 2016, when the Obama administration was in charge of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), the overseer of offshore safety. Indeed, the requests show the rule needs fixing.
Posted January 31, 2019
As millions of Americans tune in this Sunday to watch football’s Big Game, many (myself included) are mostly watching for what comes during breaks in the action – the notorious Super Bowl commercials. And if you’ve watched a Super Bowl at any point in the last 40 years then you probably know the beer brand Budweiser as a longtime fixture, with ads featuring the Budweiser Clydesdales running since at least 1975, and this year will be no different. Budweiser has previewed a 2019 Super Bowl ad that has just about everything: Clydesdales, April the Dalmatian, Bob Dylan…and wind turbines.
Posted January 10, 2019
Coastal states that have hosted offshore natural gas and oil development for decades illustrate how advanced industry technologies and an emphasis on safety – protecting people and the environment – make offshore energy a great opportunity for other states.
A diverse group of business and industry leaders from Virginia – which could be included in the administration’s soon-to-be-unveiled offshore leasing program – recently visited Louisiana, which has had a long, successful experience with offshore development.
The visiting delegation wanted to see first-hand how offshore operations affect coastal areas, individual communities, the state and regional economy, other water activities and more – all feeding enthusiasm for what safe and responsible offshore energy could mean for Virginia.