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API: Arctic rule to prevent further offshore development

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Oilfield Technology,

API Upstream and Industry Operations Director Erik Milito issued the following statement on the US oil and natural gas industry’s concerns with the Arctic Rules package, issued by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).

“This is an unfortunate turn by this administration and will continue to stifle offshore oil and natural gas production,” said Milito. “We remain concerned about various regulatory activities related to offshore energy development including today’s proposals for Arctic operations.

“The US oil and natural gas industry has a proven track record of working with the federal government to improve offshore safety. Thanks to industry efforts and investment, the United States is leading the world in oil and natural gas production as well as in reduced emissions, which are near 20 year lows. Certain proposed requirements may not improve safety and in fact may inhibit innovation and technological advancements. Any regulations that are published should achieve the objectives of protecting workers and the environment and promoting energy development.”

The National Petroleum Council, at the request of the Secretary of Energy, released a report in 2015 that concluded that oil and natural gas “exploration and development in the Arctic is extensively regulated … Progressing offshore development in the Arctic would require around 60 permit types through 10 federal agencies. Regulations should be adaptive to reflect advances in technology and ecological research, and achieve an acceptable balance considering safety, environmental stewardship, economic viability, energy security, and compatibility with the interests of local communities. Prescriptive regulation may inhibit the development of new, improved technologies by suppressing the potential opportunity that drives advancement.”

“America’s energy resurgence is a once-in-a-generation opportunity that has put this country on a path toward economic growth, consumer benefits, environmental progress and a more secure energy future,” said Milito. “When combined with the vision put forward by the next five year leasing programme now being written by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, this administration has already fallen short of creating opportunities for new jobs, while also erasing millions in revenue to the government. Expanding offshore development is integral to the safe and responsible path for securing the domestic energy supplies future generations of Americans demand.”

Adapted from a press release by Louise Mulhall

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