Arctic Rule Must Enhance Safety AND Foster a Robust Arctic Energy Leasing Program

RandallLuthi_webFor Immediate Release: Thursday, July 7, 2016
Contact:  Nicolette Nye, (202) 465-8463, nicolette@nullnoia.org

Arctic Rule Must Enhance Safety AND Foster a Robust Arctic Energy Leasing Program

Washington, D.C. – NOIA President Randall Luthi issued the following statement on the Final Arctic Rule released today by the Department of the Interior:

“Given current market conditions and the President’s apparent sway to environmental groups opposed to any exploration in the Arctic, the release of the Arctic rule provides a thread of hope for Alaska residents and U.S. consumers that an Arctic oil and gas program will move forward as the Department of the Interior finalizes the 2017-2022 Five Year Leasing Plan.  However, beyond that hope, the rule may not provide much optimism to the offshore industry other than finally knowing the regulatory requirements.

“Despite taking years to write, the rule does not accurately reflect current industry capabilities and includes unnecessary requirements, such as same season relief wells, which may not be needed due to the availability of new response and containment equipment. Prescriptive requirements in the rule could thwart industry innovation and development of new technology, and may not actually increase operational safety.

“Arctic oil and natural gas development is integral to national energy security and a vital source of jobs for the people of Alaska, and should remain so. Former military leaders have urged the administration to keep the Arctic in the 2017-2022 offshore leasing program, citing important national security implications. With an estimated 23.6 billion barrels of oil and 104.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, a strong Arctic offshore program can ensure that both Alaska and the lower 48 benefit from jobs, revenue and energy security.

“The offshore industry has shown that oil and natural gas development can be done safely in Arctic conditions. Even as we review the provisions of this rule, other countries, including Canada, Greenland, Russia and Norway, are already taking steps to explore and develop Arctic OCS resources.

“We look forward to working with the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement to see that this rule is implemented in a manner that will enhance Arctic safety and foster a robust Arctic energy leasing program.”

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ABOUT NOIA

NOIA is the only national trade association representing all segments of the offshore industry with an interest in the exploration and production of both traditional and renewable energy resources on the nation’s outer continental shelf.  NOIA’s mission is to secure reliable access and a fair regulatory and economic environment for the companies that develop the nation’s valuable offshore energy resources in an environmentally responsible manner. The NOIA membership comprises about 300 companies engaged in business activities ranging from producing to drilling, engineering to marine and air transport, offshore construction to equipment manufacture and supply, telecommunications to finance and insurance, and renewable energy.