The Obama administration’s first draft of the next five-year program for offshore oil and natural gas leasing should include all areas where significant discoveries are possible, API Director of Upstream and Industry Operations Erik Milito told reporters today. Leasing is currently prohibited in 87% of federal waters offshore.
“Keeping our role as the world leader in energy will require a commitment from the president to opening new areas to offshore oil and natural gas development,” said Milito. “At this early stage, it would be premature and irresponsible to leave out of the draft program any area that holds the potential for significant discoveries of oil and natural gas.
“This will be a real test of the administration’s commitment to America being the world leader in energy.
“By keeping so much locked away, the U.S. government is saying ‘No thanks’ to 840 000 new American jobs, 3.5 million boe/d, and more than US$200 billion in government revenue.
“Offshore oil and natural gas development is a long-term investment. The energy America produces offshore today is only possible because of decisions made over several decades by both regulators and the private sector. For the same reason, how much energy we produce offshore fifteen and twenty years from now depends on the decisions being made today.
“There is no question about the world's need for this energy. Independent experts expect global demand for oil and natural gas to continue growing for decades. The only question is whether the federal government will allow the U.S. to remain an energy superpower in the years to come.”
API represents all segments of America’s oil and natural gas industry. Its more than 625 members produce, process, and distribute most of the nation’s energy. The industry also supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8% of the U.S. economy.
Adapted from press release by Joe Green