Energy Tomorrow Blog
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 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.
Posted November 28, 2018
During an Explore Offshore discussion on Capitol Hill, it’s not hard to pick out the good reasons for safely and responsibly developing offshore natural gas and oil: long-term U.S. energy and national security, jobs and economic stimulus, revenues to states, global leadership and more.
There’s not a more compelling reason than the way offshore development can create hope and opportunity for people who historically have struggled to gain access to both – a point made by Stephen Gilchrist, Explore Offshore state chairman for South Carolina.
Posted November 19, 2018
As we wait for the Trump administration to unveil the next federal offshore leasing program, which will guide offshore natural gas and oil development the next five years, new studies affirm what we’ve been saying about the economic boost outer continental shelf (OCS) leasing could give to coastal states – in the form of cumulative tax revenues over a 20-year forecast period. …
Individually, each state is looking the potential for big numbers and big benefits across the entire state. They follow studies earlier this year finding that through offshore leasing these states together could see billions in projected industry spending and the creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs.
Posted August 15, 2018
Increased access to America’s offshore natural gas and oil would bring far-reaching benefits to coastal states, and the entire country. This is precisely why the diverse, bipartisan “Explore Offshore” coalition gathered today in Florida: because the strategic interests of Florida and our nation are tied to responsible development of offshore natural gas and oil..
Posted July 10, 2018
Offshore energy development works for the states – all of them.
The U.S. Interior Department recently announced that $61.6 million in revenues from offshore oil and natural gas will be distributed to all 50 states, U.S. territories and the District of Columbia – via grants that support state conservation and outdoor recreation projects.Ponder that: You don’t have to be a coastal state; you don’t have to be a producing state. Under the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA), everyone benefits from offshore natural gas and oil revenues that are earmarked for Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) grants.
Posted June 8, 2018
Our industry supports increased access to America’s offshore natural gas and oil. The benefits promise to be broad for coastal states and the entire country. Responsible development is safe, well-regulated and compatible with other uses, including those of our military.To advance the nation’s strategic interests that are tied to careful offshore natural gas and oil, API this week announced the launch of “Explore Offshore,” a diverse coalition of more than 100 local leaders, community organizations, businesses and associations from five Atlantic and Gulf Coast states that supports increased offshore access.