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VIRGINIA PETROLEUM COUNCIL: New offshore energy plan will benefit Virginia energy consumers, strengthen U.S. national security

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RICHMOND, January 4, 2018 – Virginia Petroleum Council Executive Director Miles Morin today welcomed the Interior Department’s new proposal for a five-year offshore oil and natural gas leasing plan to allow greater access to the Atlantic’s outer-continental shelf, which puts Virginia on the right track towards job creation, economic growth, and strengthened national security.

"The new offshore energy plan is welcome news for Virginia’s energy consumers and our economy,” said Morin. “The administration has recognized the value of safely and responsibly developing our abundant offshore resources and the critical role these resources play in meeting our long-term energy needs and strengthening our national security. Increasing access to our offshore resources in the Atlantic will also grow and diversify Virginia’s economy to benefit our consumers, manufacturers, and businesses.”

A recent study found that the U.S. natural gas and oil industry supported 125,500 jobs in Virginia and contributed $11.97 billion to the commonwealth’s economy in 2015. Since 2010, more than 100 exploration and production industry standards were created or strengthened, including standards for safety and environmental management, well design, blowout prevention and spill response. The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) references 96 API standards in its offshore regulations.

“The U.S. natural gas and oil industry’s commitment to improving safety standards along with today’s advanced technology has helped to protect our workers and the environment,” said Morin. “Exploring the energy resources off our coasts is also a key part of constructing a prudent, forward-looking energy strategy that strengthens our energy security and allows for sustainable economic growth.

“The Mid-Atlantic outer continental shelf is estimated to hold 2.41 billion barrels of oil and 24.63 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. These resources could help keep energy costs low and benefit our commonwealth for decades to come. Updated resource estimates through scientific seismic research in the Atlantic would benefit Virginians even further and help us secure our energy future.”

The Virginia Petroleum Council is a division of API, which represents all segments of America’s oil and natural gas industry. Its more than 625 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms. They provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 40 million Americans.


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