Lifting Administration's De Facto Moratorium on Gulf Oil Exploration Would Ease President's Self-imposed Energy Crisis

Statement from Jim Adams, president and CEO, Offshore Marine Service Association

Mar 11, 2011, 14:11 ET from Offshore Marine Service Association

NEW ORLEANS, March 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- "President Obama's rhetoric will not bring down the price of gas, will not make us less reliant on unstable regimes and will not generate new jobs in the energy sector. The only immediate solution to the administration's self-imposed energy crisis is to lift the de facto moratorium on offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico," said Jim Adams, president and CEO of the Offshore Marine Service Association (OMSA).

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"This administration continues to deceive hard working Americans with false assurances of today's production output," continued Adams. "There has been no exploration off the continental shelf for nearly a year—that means future production will drop precipitously."

According to Tuesday's "Short-Term Energy Outlook" (published monthly by the U.S. Energy Information Administration), "Domestic crude oil production, which increased by 150,000 bbl/d in 2010 to 5.51 million bbl/d, declines by 110,000 bbl/d in 2011 and by a further 130,000 bbl/d in 2012 (U.S. Crude Oil Production Chart)."

"EIA expects production from the Federal Gulf of Mexico (GOM) to fall by 240,000 bbl/d in 2011 and by a further 200,000 bbl/d in 2012."

"For nearly a year, the Obama administration has instituted a de facto moratorium on drilling in the Gulf.  Administration officials say they're worried about safety, but that makes no sense," said Adams.

"After six decades of safe drilling, there's no reason for a de facto moratorium. A federal judge agrees and has held the Obama administration in contempt of court for not processing permits in a reasonable amount of time. Last week, the administration's Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, appealed the injunction stating that he needed an extension. If Secretary Salazar is insinuating that he needs nearly a year to process drilling permits, $4/gallon gas will be the least of this country's problem."

OMSA represents the owners and operators of U.S. flag offshore service vessels and the shipyards and other businesses that support that industry.

SOURCE Offshore Marine Service Association