The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Graphically Speaking: Policy and Lost Energy Investments

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted January 13, 2012

Policies have consequences – in the graphic below from API’s 2012 State of American Energy report, the consequences of the 2010 Gulf deepwater drilling moratorium are manifest: more than $21 billion in investment dollars lost and the departure of drilling equipment to other, more hospitable, venues.

More detail from the report:
• 11 drilling rigs, representing 14 projects had left the Gulf of Mexico since April 2010.
• 91,000 jobs lost as a result of the Gulf moratorium.
• An estimated $18.3 billion of previously planned capital and operating expenditures didn’t occur in 2010 and 2011.
• Gulf oil production is projected by the Energy Information Administration to be down 12 percent in 2012 over 2010.

Those are stark numbers that reflect what happens when policy blocks and/or discourages investments of this scale, which require years of planning and preparation. “Oil is a global commodity,” API President and CEO Jack Gerard said last March. “It will go where it is welcomed and the capital investments and jobs will go with it.”


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.