While the Gulf of Mexico well is capped and the relief wells are nearing completion to secure the BP disaster, the oil and gas industry is looking at how to move forward with deepwater drilling projects in the future and the importance of safer mining of Marcellus Shale.
But can safety and environmental protection be guaranteed when working in some of the most risky places on the plant? It is questions like this that are important to the continued success of the oil and gas industry and are being answered by leading industry executives.
Based on the US Department of Interior, the Obama Administration’s OCS strategy recognises that the Gulf of Mexico holds 70% of the nation’s economically recoverable oil and 82% of the economically recoverable gas reserves.
With the region being such a major source of energy for the US, the economic impact and the effect of job loss are all major opposition sticking points for the continued ban on deepwater drilling that is expected to expire at the end of November. To support the earlier overturn of this ban, and rally behind the Louisiana-based judge Martin Feldman, four major oil companies are working together on a new joint venture that will develop a rapid response programme that can contain almost double the amount of gallons lost in the BP spill at about double the depth.
It is the development of new technologies for exploration and deepwater drilling mining that will ultimately be a major focus of attention at the NG Oil and Gas Committee meeting in Texas. The environmental impact of this incident is only part of the picture and with the ban idling some 33 rigs off the coast, up to 20,000 jobs could be lost should the ban lives its full life.
With new technologies also being developed over the last five years for horizontal and vertical drilling of Marcellus Shale, can the new shale slabs continue to be mined without scrutiny after seeing a rise in incidents being reported on both an environment and administration/safety level?
The NG Oil and Gas Committee meeting in Texas during the 3-5 November is going to be looking at how technology can dispel concerns that local and Federal legislators have when regulating the industry.
Author: Daniel Reinhold, NG Online