deepwater

Governors of coastal states in the US have voiced their support for more offshore drilling and said they want to benefit from the economic advantages it offers.

During the ongoing Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, the governors said the consequences of Deepwater Horizon have loomed too large and continued for too long, reported The Wall Street Journal.

According to the governors of the states bordering the Gulf of Mexico, including Texas, Alabama and Mississippi, the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster has taught a hard lesson; however, the government’s existing approval process is still holding back offshore activities across the nation.

During the conference, governors of states such as Texas and Alaska said the federal government should relax its regulation on the industry and allow the states to share more of the revenue that oil and gas leasing generates.

Governors of East Coast states, where offshore drilling activity is not currently encouraged, recommended the government opens their waters to the energy industry. Texas Governor, Rick Perry, a Republican, was quoted by the publication as saying: "States know how to harness our natural resources."

"Governors said the consequences of Deepwater Horizon have loomed too large and continued for too long."

Another Republican, and Alaska’s Governor, Sean Parnell, noted that the slow permitting process is one major factor that is impeding Arctic drilling.

Royal Dutch Shell has previously said the company will not undertake drilling in the Arctic this summer on account of the spoiled 2012 drilling season due to bad weather, mechanical failures and regulatory challenges. ConocoPhillips also said that it has decided not to drill in Alaskan waters this summer, as it is uncertain about its ability to obtain permits.

During the conference, governors suggested that the states should have the resources and the skill to monitor offshore drilling activity, and be given more power to work directly with oil and gas companies to encourage more exploration.

South Carolina Governor, Nikki Haley, a Republican, said: "We want to open up leasing agreements. Give us the opportunity. Give us the chance."

In the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, a lease sale about 50 miles off the coast of Virginia in 2011 was cancelled by the US Navy.

The Interior Department said that US waters off the central and southern US Atlantic Coast is estimated to contain about two billion barrels of recoverable oil and 21 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.


Image: US coastal governors said Deepwater Horizon taught a hard lesson to the oil and gas industry.

Energy