The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Let's Get Drillers Back to Work

John Felmy
Posted January 24, 2011

API executive vice president Marty Durbin had a good op/ed in the Houston Chronicle over the weekend. After looking at the oil industry's significant safety enhances since the tragic Macondo well accident last spring, Durbin looks forward:

"...The moratorium on deep-water drilling technically ended last October. Yet not a single deep-water drilling permit has been issued since. Some deep-water rigs are leaving the Gulf. We've been told by the Interior Department that permitting may never get back to the levels before the accident. We've also learned that 2011 may see no new offshore leasing, and the department is scaling back its next five-year offshore leasing plan.

Thousands of jobs have disappeared already. Revenue and energy production will be increasingly affected. The Energy Department says that new government policies in the Gulf will produce a cumulative production drop of 482 million barrels of oil from 2011 to 2018. That's about $50 billion of oil we will have to find elsewhere. It also translates to a decline in taxes, royalties and other revenue to government of more than $14 billion, which would cover the cost of our federal school lunch program.

We can have safety, energy production and the jobs it creates. Our vigilance on safety must and will continue. But progress has been made, we are safer today, and our commitment to safe operations and further improvements is strong. It's clearly time for our industry to be back at work producing the energy our nation needs."

The entire piece can be read online.