Energy Firms Want Action on Atlantic Drilling

Posted on October 26, 2013 at 11:59 pm by Jennifer A. Dlouhy in Offshore, Premium

WASHINGTON — Energy industry leaders are fretting that it could be a decade before the federal government allows them to hunt for oil and gas along the East Coast, unless the Obama administration shifts its approach to offshore drilling.

Although the federal waters of the Atlantic Ocean are technically open for oil exploration, drilling leases must be sold in government auctions, and none of those sales are planned for the area under a schedule that runs through mid-August 2017.

With the Interior Department poised to soon begin the long process of drafting the next five-year sale schedule spanning 2017 to 2022, oil industry representatives are imploring the administration to keep the door open to Atlantic auctions.

“Let’s continue to allow opportunities and provide opportunities to at least explore and see what’s actually out there,” said Erik Milito, upstream director for the American Petroleum Institute...

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