Your article “Oil Drilling Rebounds in Gulf After Spill” (page one, Sept. 15) paints a picture that offshore drilling has returned to “near-normal” levels and that a burst of activity is occurring in the Gulf Coast region. That depiction isn’t a reflection of the reality facing companies here.
As a result of the Obama administration’s moratorium, 11 offshore rigs scheduled to drill in the Gulf have relocated to countries like Brazil, Nigeria, Egypt, Congo, French Guiana and Liberia. There were more than 500 American jobs associated with each rig. According to an FBR Capital Markets report, approximately 20 deep-water drilling rigs could also exit the Gulf if the federal government doesn’t accelerate the permitting process.
Greater New Orleans Inc. reports that deep-water permit issuance is 39% below the monthly averages observed over the past three years. Furthermore, the current “de facto” moratorium stifles shallow-water operations that weren’t to be affected by the original deep-water moratorium. Reports indicate that new shallow-water permit issuance is 80% lower than historical averages.
It is great news that several companies recently have made significant natural resource discoveries in the deep water of the Gulf. However, potential resource finds don’t necessarily equate to activity. In fact, tapping into these new found resources may not occur in a timely manner because of the federal government’s inability to properly permit all the necessary facets of the entire oil and gas operation in the Outer Continental Shelf.
Rep. Jeff Landry (R., La.)
New Iberia, La.