For Immediate Release: Contact: Nicolette Nye
Friday, March 11, 2011 (202) 347-6900
Mr. President, More Domestic Production is the Solution
WASHINGTON, DC – NOIA President Randall Luthi today issued the following statement on President Obama’s press conference on potential solutions to rising gas prices:
“We take issue with the President’s claim of responsibility for increased production and would like to point out a few inaccuracies in his statements.
“Most of the current production increase is likely a result of leases that were issued years earlier. In fact, most offshore leases, particularly the large producing deep water wells, take years to come to fruition after the lease is issued.
“When it comes to offshore energy in particular, current oil production in the Gulf is in fact down, according the Energy Information Administration, by nearly 300,000 barrels a day since last April when the Interior Department imposed moratoria on exploration following the Macondo accident. Almost a year later, despite the lifting of those moratoria, we have yet to see one deepwater permit approved for truly new exploratory drilling. The approval announced a couple of weeks ago, is the resumption of an existing well that was being drilled a year ago.
“Even more alarming is the fact the new exploration of the eastern Gulf of Mexico and potential areas along the eastern seaboard of the United States have been taken off the table for consideration until at least 2017. In addition, offshore lease sales have been cancelled and we haven’t had a lease sale in a year, and may not have one this year. It is the lease sales that start the process to actual production.
“We are disappointed to see the reemergence of the tenuous argument about non-producing leases, particularly since the Administration has blocked development from leases in the Beaufort Sea in Alaska, and in the Gulf of Mexico. Political pressure cannot change simple geology. Not every lease actually yields oil. Nevertheless, companies pay rental fees just to keep their leases and take a chance that they may find economically recoverable oil and gas to produce. If a lease reaches the end of the term and there is not any effort to explore or produce, then the lease is returned to the United States.
“Finally, whether or not the decision is made to tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), the Administration has truly painted itself in a corner. The fewer the options we have for the future, the more we remain dependent on Middle East oil.
“A recent Rasmussen poll showed that 76 percent of Americans believe we are not doing enough to develop oil and gas here in the U.S. It is more than ironic that the Administration is considering pumping oil out of the emergency pantry rather than providing additional domestic oil, American jobs and a long term national energy policy that would deliver domestic energy security."
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. The NOIA membership comprises more than 275 companies engaged in business activities ranging from producing to drilling, engineering to marine, land and air transport, warehousing and logistics to offshore construction to equipment manufacture and supply, telecommunications to finance and insurance.