API Condemns New Recommended Restrictions on Offshore Energy Production
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WASHINGTON, August 21, 2023 – The American Petroleum Institute (API) today released the following statement from Vice President of Upstream Policy Holly Hopkins in response to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's (BOEM) Notice to Lessees outlining recommended restrictions on oil and natural gas vessels operating in the Gulf of Mexico:
“Today’s notice from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is yet another example of the Biden administration working to restrict American energy, which could lead to higher energy costs and weaken U.S. security. The recommended actions are not justified by existing data nor operational experience, would impose significant burdens on the men and women currently working in the region, and unfairly single out oil and gas traffic in an area that is one of the most used maritime areas in U.S. waters.”
Background on Gulf of Mexico Production and the NTL:
- The Gulf of Mexico produces some of the lowest carbon intensity barrels in the world. Constrained production in this basin could be replaced by higher carbon intensity barrels from elsewhere in the world.
- According to the U.S. EIA, Gulf of Mexico federal offshore oil production accounts for 15% of total U.S. crude oil production and federal offshore natural gas production in the Gulf accounts for 5% of total U.S. dry production.
- Over 47% of total U.S. petroleum refining capacity is located along the Gulf coast, as well as 51% of total U.S. natural gas processing plant capacity.
- The agreement’s proposed operating “recommendations” would impose significant burdens on operators and increase emissions from vessels forced to operate at suboptimal speeds or idle outside the restriction areas.
- Adopting the nighttime and low visibility restrictions could cut transit windows to approximately 50%– requiring industry to balance the government’s recommended practices against safely and efficiently servicing ongoing operations.
- These restrictions would unfairly single out oil and gas traffic in an area that is one of the most used maritime areas in U.S. waters by a variety of industries. Thousands of vessels pass through this area every day.
API represents all segments of America’s natural gas and oil industry, which supports nearly 11 million U.S. jobs and is backed by a growing grassroots movement of millions of Americans. Our approximately 600 members produce, process and distribute the majority of the nation’s energy, and participate in API Energy Excellence®, which is accelerating environmental and safety progress by fostering new technologies and transparent reporting. API was formed in 1919 as a standards-setting organization and has developed more than 800 standards to enhance operational and environmental safety, efficiency and sustainability.