The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

New Offshore Drilling Moratorium Issued

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted July 12, 2010

The Interior Department's new moratorium on deepwater drilling is not necessary for safety and will cost jobs, harm the Gulf region and weaken our nation's energy security.

It is unnecessary and shortsighted to shut down a major part of the nation's energy lifeline while working to enhance offshore safety. The new moratorium threatens enormous harm to the nation and to the Gulf region. It places the jobs of tens of thousands of workers in serious and immediate jeopardy and promises a substantial reduction in domestic energy production. No certain and expeditious path forward has been established for a resumption of drilling.

The 33 now idle deepwater drilling rigs in the Gulf have passed thorough government inspections and are ready to be put back to work. The industry has been working extremely hard on all fronts to enhance safety-and will continue to do so. And the government has already imposed significant, additional safety requirements that are supported by the industry. A resumption of drilling would proceed only under the most intense and vigilant oversight.

80 percent of the oil and 45 percent of the natural gas produced in the Gulf come from deepwater areas. The 20 most prolific producing blocks in the Gulf are located in deepwater. Deepwater is indispensable to a strong and secure energy future, and the moratorium makes that future uncertain.

We strongly encourage the department to reconsider its decision and establish a process and timeline for putting our deepwater companies and highly skilled employees in the Gulf region back to work.


Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Mark also was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela live in Occoquan, Va., where they enjoy their four grandchildren.