API urged the administration to expand the next five-year offshore oil and natural gas leasing program to include areas of the Outer Continental Shelf, including the Atlantic, Eastern Gulf of Mexico, and Arctic, with potential for new domestic energy resources, job creation, increased government revenue, and strengthened national security.
“We have an opportunity in the next offshore leasing plan to truly embrace our nation’s energy potential and ensure American consumers and businesses continue to benefit from the U.S. energy renaissance,” said API Upstream Director Erik Milito. “In addition to contributing to the economy, creating thousands of jobs, and providing billions in government revenue, developing our abundant offshore resources will also strengthen our national security. The ability to explore our resources in the Arctic, Atlantic, and the Eastern Gulf of Mexico in the next five-year program is a critical part of advancing the long-term energy security of our nation, and we urge the administration to consider these benefits as they prepare a new offshore leasing program.”
A recent study showed that the natural gas and oil industry supported 10.3 million U.S. jobs and added $1.3 trillion to the nation’s economy in 2015. Since 2010, more than 100 exploration and production industry standards were created or strengthened, including standards for safety and environmental management, well design, blowout prevention and spill response. The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) references 96 API standards in its offshore regulations.
“Safety is a core value of the U.S. natural gas and oil industry, and we are constantly improving technologies, standards, best practices, and programs that protect our workers and our environment,” continued Milito. “Decades of experience demonstrate that offshore operations safely coexist with the military, tourism and commercial and recreational fishing industries. Safe offshore energy development is a necessary part of a robust energy policy to harness our nation’s energy potential for the benefit of American energy consumers.”
API submitted its comments to the Department of Interior in response to a request for information on the 2019-2024 Offshore Leasing Program and was joined by the National Ocean Industries Association, Independent Petroleum Association of America, U.S. Oil and Gas Association, American Exploration & Production Council, International Association of Geophysical Contractors, Petroleum Equipment Suppliers Association, and the Alaska Oil and Gas Association.
API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the oil and natural gas industry.