NOIA Comments on Secretary Salazar’s Meeting with Offshore Industry in Louisiana

For Immediate Release:                                                 Contact:  Nicolette Nye

Monday, November 22, 2010                                            (202) 347-6900          

 

NOIA Comments on Secretary Salazar’s Meeting with Offshore Industry in Louisiana

 

WASHINGTON, DC – NOIA President Randall Luthi today issued the following statement in response to Interior Secretary Salazar’s meeting with offshore industry executives in Houma, Louisiana:

“Senator Landrieu is a champion for the offshore energy industry, and we applaud her tremendous efforts in brokering today’s meeting.  We also thank Governor Bobby Jindal, Lieutenant Governor Scott Angelle, Senator David Vitter and Congressman (elect) Jeff Landry for their support. 

“Secretary Salazar’s agreement to meet face-to-face with industry to discuss a path forward out of the deepwater drilling and de facto moratoria in the Gulf and to provide certainty and regulatory clarity was a positive gesture, and while we appreciate his promise of forthcoming decisions and announcements it will be his deeds, not his words, that will enable the offshore industry to return to work.  Today, the Secretary heard first-hand what inaction in Washington, D.C. does to Americas workers. Ships, rigs and vessels are idle. Workers are getting pink slips. The industry is waiting for action from the Department, not words.  They want to get back to work.

“Despite the end of the deepwater drilling moratorium over a month ago, the industry has been in limbo because the Department of the Interior has not been issuing the number or type of permits industry needs to really get back to work in either shallow or deep water.  Both industry and the government are seeking to define the “new normal” for offshore operations and both have made progress and are continuing to develop solutions to address safety and spill issues through significant improvements in the areas of accident prevention, intervention and containment. 

 “We are encouraged by the Secretary’s efforts to reallocate personnel and obtain new hires to process permits.  The resumption of the responsible issuance of permits for shallow water operations in the Gulf would be a good start, but the real signal to industry that deepwater and de facto moratoria are truly over, and that certainty and regulatory clarity are returning will be the issuance of the first permit for new exploratory drilling in the deepwater Gulf. Time is running out, especially for the smaller, independent producers in the Gulf. If permits don’t start flowing their way, they will see more lost rigs and jobs.

“In addition to a growing backlog of permit applications, the Secretary has multiple irons in the fire, including decisions on seismic studies, categorical exclusions, completion of sales in the 2007-2012 offshore leasing plan, formulation of the 2012-2017 offshore leasing plan, and the necessary environmental analyses required for these plans and lease sales in both the Gulf and Alaska. Now would be a good time for the Secretary to take an iron out of the fire and put his brand on a positive decision that will put industry back to work producing oil and gas needed to fuel American cars, homes, businesses and job growth.” 

 

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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 270 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.