The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Energy Today - March 1, 2011

Rayola Dougher

Rayola Dougher
Posted March 1, 2011

The New York Times: Oil Drilling to Resume in the Gulf's Deep Waters: The Interior Department said Monday that it had approved the first new deepwater drilling permit in the Gulf of Mexico since the BP explosion and spill last spring, a milestone after a period of intense uncertainty for industry and a wholesale remaking of the nation's system of offshore oil and gas regulation. Michael R. Bromwich, director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, said that Noble Energy had been granted permission to resume drilling in 6,500 feet of water off the coast of Louisiana. Work on the well was suspended, along with virtually all other drilling activity in water deeper than 5,000 feet, immediately after the Deepwater Horizon accident last April 20.

Marcellus Shale Coalition: Drilling Down into NY Times Story on Wastewater: Yesterday's New York Times included a story highly critical of the regulatory framework governing waste water treatment and disposal from natural gas exploration in Pennsylvania. While raising some valid questions about water monitoring, this article - seven months in the making - lacks context, offers misleading comparisons and in some cases put forth information that is not supported by the facts. Following we offer up that context and provide interested parties additional background - all available in the public domain - that paints an entirely different picture than what was laid out by the Times yesterday morning.

The Houston Chronicle: Deep drilling permit issued for Gulf: The federal government on Monday told Noble Energy it can resume a deep-water drilling project -- the first work of its kind approved since the Obama administration lifted a moratorium prompted by last year's Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Until Monday, federal regulators had not allowed any offshore drilling that had been off limits under the five-month ban against some deep-water exploration, even though the ban ended in October. Michael Bromwich, head of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, which issued the approval, said the permit "represents a significant milestone for us and for the offshore oil and gas industry, and is an important step towards safely developing deep-water energy supplies offshore." But offshore drilling advocates were doubtful the move would unleash a flood of permits because the project approved Monday was one of 16 under way when the ban was imposed - and therefore faced a clearer path to approval than proposals filed since last year's oil spill. "While one deep-water permit is a start, it is by no means reason to celebrate," said Sen. David Vitter, R-La. The American Petroleum Institute noted that the government had approved just "one permit for one company." "While every permit is welcome news, tightening the screws on domestic oil and natural gas production during a time of increased demand and global uncertainty is a formula for disaster," said API President Jack Gerard.

Omaha World-Herald: John Kerekes: Keystone pipeline project could ease U.S. oil needs: Events such as the recent turmoil in Egypt often cause Americans concern regarding how they will affect the supply of crude oil -- and what that will mean for their pocketbooks. Those concerns are justified, for American consumers know that the United States still acquires a good deal of its oil from the Middle East. One little-known fact, however, is that our No. 1 supplier of imported oil is not thousands of miles away on the other side of a vast ocean. It is, instead, our friendly and reliable neighbor to the north. As such, Canada provides 21 percent of all our imports. An even more impressive fact is that 36 percent of our imports could come from Canada by 2030 -- enough to meet more than all of the oil needs of the 15 Midwestern states today. Or, enough to supply almost two-thirds of all the gasoline used in the United States. That would substantially lower our reliance on oil from potentially unstable regions of the world. Canada is one of the world's most stable democracies. The United States and Canada share not only a long border but also ideals. The two countries have a strong and special partnership that is the world's biggest trading relationship. As a result, Canada plays a tremendous role in our nation's economic and energy security.

Fargo-Moorhead Forum: Celebrate oil, gas industry: When President Barack Obama urged the nation's businesses to invest and create more jobs, he may not have had in mind one of the few sectors that have remained relatively healthy throughout most of the recent recession - and a sector that is eager and willing to invest and hire more: America's oil and natural gas industry. There is no better demonstration of what the industry can do than in North Dakota, where oil development in the Bakken has created thousands of new jobs and could create thousands more. In his State of the Union address and in his 2012 budget proposal, the president called for higher taxes on this industry to pay for new federal spending programs. Further, with one unwarranted comment in his remarks before Congress ("I don't know if you've noticed, but they're doing just fine on their own."), he joined the long line of politicians seeking to promote their causes by denigrating an industry that is vital to our economy and way of life. He followed that with: "So, instead of subsidizing yesterday's energy, let's invest in tomorrow's." As North Dakotans well know, there is nothing "yesterday" about oil and natural gas. Oil and gas are what fuels America's economy - today and tomorrow. Oil and natural gas keep our homes comfortable, allow us to travel and transport our goods. They help us manufacture the goods that make Americans' lives better, from medicines to computers. The oil industry receives no direct government payments for its operations, and existing tax deductions are comparable to, or lower than, those for other industries.

Additional Resources

Hot Air: NY Times Blows Story on Drilling "Dangers"

The New Orleans Times-Picayune: U.S. approves first deepwater oil drilling permit since BP spill

Forbes: GlassPoint's Solar Power Gives New Life To Old Oil Fields

PlainsDaily.com: ND pumps record 113 million barrels of oil in 2010

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rayola Dougher is senior economist at The American Petroleum Institute (API), where she analyzes information, manages projects and develops briefing materials on energy markets and oil industry policy issues. She is the author or co-author of economic research studies covering a diverse range of topics including crude oil and petroleum product markets, gasoline taxes, energy conservation and competition in retail markets. In addition to testifying before federal and state legislators, she has participated in numerous newspaper, radio and television interviews on a wide range of issues affecting the oil industry, including crude oil and gasoline prices, industry taxes and earnings, exploration and production, and refining and marketing topics.

Prior to joining API, Rayola worked at the Institute for Energy Analysis where her research focused on carbon dioxide related issues and international energy demand and supply forecasts. Rayola holds a Masters degree in Economic Development and East Asian studies from the American University and a degree in History and Political Science from the State University of New York at Brockport.