The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Offshore Energy Production and the Environment

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted November 19, 2009

Today, the Senate's Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a hearing concerning environmental stewardship policies related to offshore energy production. (Watch the archive Webcast of the hearing).

Two of the witnesses--Shell President Marvin Odum and David Rainey, vice president for Gulf of Mexico exploration at BP America--discussed the oil and gas sector's strong environmental record and said that additional exploration and development was necessary to bring in needed much-needed supplies, reduce U.S. imports, create jobs and generate government revenues.

Advanced offshore technology, such as 3-D seismic surveys, has revolutionized the oil and natural gas exploration process, allowing the industry to have "eyes" underground. This technology improves the industry's ability to locate potential oil and natural gas reserves with greater accuracy and precision--and helps reduce a project's environmental footprint.

Additionally, subsea production systems are installed at depths of almost 10,000 feet of water in the Gulf of Mexico, where deepwater development plays a significant role in current and future energy production. Using this advanced technology, producers can use a single platform to develop resources from 40 miles away. Watch the video below on high-tech subsea production.

For more information on the hearing, read the witness testimonies, and for more on offshore development and technological innovation, read this comprehensive primer below on Offshore Access to America's Oil and Natural Gas Resources.