INDUSTRY RESPONDS TO EU ENERGY ‘VISION’
The International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (OGP) has formally replied to European Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalg’s invitation for input on the EU Commission’s draft of a “vision” statement. As part of the commission’s Second Strategic Energy Review, the statement provides a framework for where the EU’s energy base and production should be by 2050. IADC contributed to the OGP reply.
References in the commission’s review are clearly biased against hydrocarbons, and the message was recently reinforced by EU president José Manuel Barroso’s call for a “decarbonised” EU energy future. In this context, the commission has expressed its intention to prepare a “roadmap” setting out the actions necessary to achieve a zero-carbon electricity supply by 2050.
OGP’s measured response noted that oil and gas are likely to continue playing major roles in meeting energy demand for many decades. The response also highlighted technological advancements in E&P and in the mitigation of emissions to the environment. It noted the emergence of new sources of oil and gas, such as deep ocean, Arctic and shale. Of particular importance is the potential for natural gas as a preferred fuel because of its lower carbon content.
As oil is likely to remain essential as a transport fuel, the commission was also advised to foster its efficient use and continued availability.
LETTER TO MMS: EXPAND 5-YEAR OCS PLAN
In a letter to the US Minerals Management Service (MMS) addressing its 5-year OCS plan, industry groups urged the agency to expand potential lease sale areas to include “all areas of the OCS where there is an interest in hydrocarbon development.”
Sent in response to MMS’ request for comments on the draft program, the letter was drafted jointly by IADC, NOIA, IPAA, PESA, USOGA and the American Exploration & Production Council (AXPC). Leasing only 12 of the 26 total planning areas would be far too conservative, they said.
Flexibility in the plan will allow the energy industry to better respond to the nation’s energy needs. The shortsightedness and risks of limiting energy production to one small area of the OCS were already proven in hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Industry groups also called for a full analysis of all OCS areas to determine the relative environmental risks, sensitivities and other analyses among the regions. Additionally, they advised that a predictable and reliable lease sale schedule be provided in the 2010-2015 program so companies can expeditiously explore for and develop hydrocarbons.