For Immediate Release: Contact: Nicolette Nye
Thursday, September 30, 2010 (202) 347-6900
NOIA President Randall Luthi Comments on Interim Final Drilling Rule and Workplace Safety Rule
WASHINGTON, DC – NOIA President Randall Luthi today issued the following statement in response to the Interim Final Drilling Safety Rule and Workplace Safety Rule announced today by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar:
“It’s unfortunate that the Department did not take this opportunity to lift the job killing deepwater drilling moratorium or to address the de facto shallow water moratorium. Given the lack of regulatory clarity and resulting uncertainty for the offshore industry in the wake of the Gulf oil spill, NOIA and its members have been anxiously awaiting news on the moratorium, in addition to the new governmental guidance for offshore operators announced today. Companies want to get back to work as soon as possible producing jobs and home-grown oil and gas for America.
“Industry fully understands that the Interim Final Drilling Rule and Workplace Safety Rule impose new, stricter requirements for offshore operations, but the devil will be in the details and the ability of the Department to provide adequate guidance and actually process permits. If recent history foretells the future, industry will need to seek further guidance as to what is meant by the new rules and how they will be implemented.
“One need only look to the shallow water Gulf, where no official moratorium was imposed, to see that permitting has already slowed to a snail’s pace under the government guidelines hastily imposed this summer, including NTL05 which has now been codified in the Interim Final Drilling Safety Rule. This now makes it clearer that even after the official drilling moratorium ends, companies operating in the deepwater Gulf may suffer even more from the effects of a de facto moratorium. DOI is focusing energy and resources on beefing up its inspection force, and industry would like to see equal energy and resources focused on the permit approval process.
“Industry looks forward to the lifting of deepwater drilling restrictions, and we hope that when that does occur it will be more than just symbolic. NOIA and its members have long predicted that the end of the official moratorium will not mean that exploration in the Gulf of Mexico will immediately resume. However, the longer it takes for industry to get a clear view of the finish line, the longer it will take to get people back to work and to supply the nation with a secure domestic energy source.”
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 250 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.