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API opposes short-sighted amendments curtailing offshore energy exploration

WASHINGTON, July 12, 2016 – New anti-consumer proposals from some members of the House of Representatives to ban geological or geophysical activities that aid in several forms of energy exploration could cripple offshore oil and natural gas exploration, according to API Upstream Group Director Erik Milito.

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API: Arctic rule could inhibit innovation, technological advancements and U.S. energy leadership

WASHINGTON, July 7, 2016 – API Upstream and Industry Operations Director Erik Milito issued the following statement on the U.S. 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). 

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Keep Arctic in U.S. Offshore Leasing Plan

Thanks to America’s shale energy revolution, the United States is the world’s leading producer of oil and natural gas. The revolution has generated economic lift, increased American security in the world and benefited U.S. trade. Surging natural gas production and use is the main reason the U.S. leads the world in reducing carbon emissions.

These are all great developments for U.S. energy and for our country in general. And Americans recognize it, 73 percent of registered voters in a recent Harris Poll saying they support a national energy policy that ensures safe and responsible development of a secure supply of abundant, affordable and available energy. To get there you must have arobust, forward-looking U.S. offshore oil and natural gas leasing program. Access to domestic energy reserves is fundamental to domestic energy production.  

Unfortunately, the next five-year leasing program now being written by the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) falls short in the vigor and vision departments.

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Access to Support America’s Energy Revolution

It’s clear in a new Harris Poll on energy issues that Americans recognize the revolutionary opportunity that’s being afforded the United States by increased domestic energy production – consumer benefits, economic growth and increased security.

The poll’s registered voters see a new U.S. energy narrative, one of abundance that’s making America more self-reliant and stronger. Even more, those surveyed appreciate the fact that American-made energy is a path to future prosperity, and they want policies that help ensure that path is taken.

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API Partnership with ASEA Demonstrates Leadership and Commitment to Global Safety Standards for Offshore Development

WASHINGTON, June 13, 2016 – This month, the American Petroleum Institute (API) and Mexico’s recently created oil and natural gas regulatory agency, National Agency for Industrial Safety and Environmental Protection of the Hydrocarbons Sector (ASEA), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that ensures API’s technical standards, safety standards and  associated programs are readily available for consideration and inclusion in ASEA’s safety programs, and highlights an ongoing collaboration between API and ASEA in the fields of safety, standards, certification and training. 

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Video Tells Story of New Gulf Platform ‘Heidelberg’

Heidelberg and other offshore production facilities are integral to U.S. energy security. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates Gulf production will average 1.63 million barrels of oil per day (mb/d) this year and reach 1.91 mb/d by December next year, accounting for 18 percent and 21 percent of total U.S. crude oil production in 2016 and 2017, respectively.

Output from Heidelberg and other platforms reflects decisions made years ago – to buy leases and to invest in exploration and development. That’s why it’s critically important for robust planning now, starting with the government’s 2017-2022 offshore oil and natural gas leasing program that’s currently being put together by federal officials.

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America Needs Forward-Looking Offshore Energy Plan

Near year’s end the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is scheduled to release its offshore oil and natural gas leasing program for 2017-2022.

For more than a year BOEM has methodically worked to craft a program that will blueprint offshore development into the next decade and beyond, developing drafts, receiving comments from the public as well as inputs from elected officials in affected states.

With the United States emerging as the world’s leading producer of oil and natural gas, planning America’s offshore oil and gas development has never been more important. The United States must have an offshore oil and natural gas program that reflects America’s energy superpower status.

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Offshore leasing program lacks vision, does not reflect U.S. energy leadership

Washington, May 19, 2016 – API called on the federal government to align its offshore leasing program to reflect America’s new role as a global energy superpower and focus on the opportunities this creates for the country. API Executive Vice President Louis Finkel addressed flaws in the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program during a press briefing ahead of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing.

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Getting the Offshore Drilling Program Right

Some points for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to consider when it meets next week to review the Obama administration’s proposed 2017-2022 program for offshore oil and natural gas leasing.

First, offshore oil and natural gas production historically has played a major role in overall U.S. energy output. In 2010 more than 30 percent of U.S. oil and 11 percent of U.S. natural gas was produced in the Gulf of Mexico. So, while it’s great that the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates  that Gulf production will increase to record high levels in 2017, every American must recognize that reaching record Gulf output next year would result because of leasing decisions made a decade or more ago.

In that context, let’s be clear: The federal offshore leasing program must reflect energy leadership and vision, and it must be focused on fostering opportunity. It must not reduce America’s offshore energy potential by keeping key offshore areas off the table for development.

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Planning, Leadership Needed to Harness U.S. Offshore Energy

BOEM’s DC meeting that followed others this month in New Orleans, Houston and a number of localities in Alaska, was an information smorgasbord. They had a video overview of the methodology in developing the leasing program that will guide offshore energy development from 2017 to 2022. They also had a number of tables with printed handouts, where BOEM staffers were available to talk about topics ranging from protected species to the human environment to acoustics in the water.

I asked a staffer if it was possible that someone knowing little to nothing about offshore energy and leasing could wander into BOEM’s meeting, watch the video, absorb the information handouts, talk to BOEM representatives and then submit an informed comment on the leasing proposal. “Yes,” he said. Neat.

BOEM had a number of laptops set up to receive electronic comments. I submitted mine the old-fashioned way, writing them out longhand on a form. I labored to print legibly.

Certainly, BOEM has been meticulous in developing its proposed leasing program. The final version that will come out early next year will say a lot about U.S. energy leadership and vision and the future of American energy. That’s how critically important our offshore reserves are.

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