America’s oil and natural gas industry considers safety its top priority. We are committed to developing the technologies, standards and best practices needed to help ensure that workplace safety and environmental stewardship are at the forefront of the offshore development process.
The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA ’90) established the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund (OSLTF) as an “insurance policy” for payment of potential damages from oil releases from exploration, production or transportation accidents. The OSLTF is funded exclusively by a per barrel tax on the oil industry – not by taxpayers. The industry has contributed 100% of the $1.6 billion currently in the Fund. OPA ‟90 requires that responsible parties pay ALL cleanup costs related to a spill from an offshore platform. Only then can responsible parties use the OSLTF to cover up to $1 billion for consequential damages if those claims exceed the OPA‟s $75 million liability cap. Further, the liability cap for consequential damages does not apply in instances of gross negligence, willful misconduct, or violation of applicable federal regulations. Injured parties may also file claims in state courts, which are not subject to the liability limits.
The Gulf of Mexico oil spill is tragic, and the oil and natural gas industry owes it to the American people to reduce the risks of offshore drilling. But our nation’s demand for energy is growing, and we will need more oil and natural gas to meet that demand in the coming decades. Deepwater production in the Gulf of Mexico plays an important role in meeting this demand, and an extended moratorium on safely producing these resources would create a moratorium on economic growth and job creation—especially in the Gulf States whose people and economies have already been most affected by the oil spill.
The Deepwater Horizon incident could have significant environmental and economic impact, but the oil and natural gas industry is hopeful that these can be mitigated by the combined response efforts of BP, other oil and natural gas companies and government agencies including the U.S.Coast Guard, Minerals Management Service and Department of Defense. Right now the industry’s three priorities are stopping the spill, cleaning up the spill, determining what went wrong, and applying the lessons learned to reduce the chances of this ever happening again.
On May 6, 2010, API hosted a conference call with 14 bloggers to discuss the Deepwater Horizon incident, and spill response and cleanup efforts. API representatives Richard Ranger, Holly Hopkins, Robin Rorick, Allison Nyholm, John Felmy and John Wagner took questions from the bloggers.
This document is the full text of a joint American Petroleum Institute/Offshore Oil Operators letter addressing proposed regulations from the Minerals Management Service (MMS). The MMS proposed incorporating portions of a long-standing API recommended practice (API RP 75: Development of a Safety and Environmental Management Program for Offshore Operations and Facilities, Third Edition, 2004, reaffirmed 2009) into the new regulations while rewriting other portions. API and the Offshore Operators Committee (OOC) believed the new regulations could be confusing, and pointed it out in the joint letter.
The roller coaster rise and fall in gasoline and diesel prices over the last couple of years tracks changes in the cost of crude oil. Those changes are determined in the global crude oil market by the worldwide demand for and supply of crude oil.
New technologies are creating new energy. Technological innovation has opened the door to abundant new energy resources in the U.S. We now have over a 100-year supply of clean-burning natural gas that we didn’t know about just a few years ago.
On March 25, 2010, API hosted 14 bloggers for a conference call about hydraulic fracturing technology and the economic importance of natural gas. API representatives Sara Banaszak, John Felmy, Stephanie Meadows, Erik Milito, Andy Radford and Richard Ranger took questions from the bloggers.
Greenhouse gas emissions from the U.S. oil and natural gas industry declined more than 48 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent from 2007 to 2008, a reduction comparable to taking 9.7 million cars off the roads. Among the factors contributing to the reduction is more than $58 billion invested by the industry in low-carbon technologies from 2000 to 2008.