IADC welcomes the announcement by Bureau of Ocean Energy Management director Tommy Beaudreau that the next five-year Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) leasing program will provide for 15 lease sales. IADC is also encouraged that another lease sale under the existing program will occur in the Western Gulf of Mexico before the end of this year.
“The remarkable recent Central Gulf sale yielding over $1 billion in bonus bids by industry speaks to the confidence industry has in US offshore resource potential,” remarked IADC president/CEO Stephen A. Colville. “IADC greatly regrets, however, that due to a history of Congressional offshore leasing moratoria, and Presidential moratoria beginning with the George H.W. Bush Administration, most of US waters are closed to exploration and development. That is completely inconsistent with the nation’s energy needs and with the practice of virtually all other coastal nations with active offshore leasing programs.”
Mr Colville added that IADC is nonetheless pleased to see movement on Arctic OCS development, an area holding huge oil and natural gas reserves. But with the continued moratoria elsewhere, the US is denying itself the potential for a stronger economy, jobs growth and lessened dependence on resources from unstable or unreliable suppliers outside its borders.
“We urge the President and Congress to expand OCS access beyond Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico,” Mr Colville added. “The technology and investment appetite is proven. Drilling contractors are ready and able to do the job.”