Coming to me as no surprise, my congressman, Pete Olson has filed a bill in the House to lift the 6-month Deepwater drilling moratorium that has been ordered by President Obama.
Really, nothing new here.
Co-sponsored by a covey of “oil-soaked” congressmen, the moratorium would reauthorize drilling in the Deepwater of the Gulf OCS. A move that is completely irresponsible given what we now know about industry readiness to handle undersea blowouts in the deepwater.
Their reasoning? The moratorium will cost the industry untold losses in terms of revenue, jobs and rigs.
Drilling rigs will move to overseas locations if they are not allowed to drill in the Deepwater.
And America depends on offshore Gulf of Mexico oil for 30% of its energy.
Oh, but wait. The moratorium is only for wells drilled in the Deepwater. You know, the parts of the Gulf where oil companies still don't have a handle on well control should a blow out occur.
So really, lumping all Gulf offshore oil drilling into the President’s Deepwater moratorium is just a little disingenuous isn’t it? After all, Deepwater exploration and production does not account for 30% of America’s total dependency on oil, or anything close to it. But Olson and his cadre of “oil-soaked” congressmen are willing to fight for those dozens of jobs that will be lost due to the moratorium.
But guess what. Knowing the oil industry they are going to use this event to their economic benefit and lose some employees anyway. That’s what working 22 years in oil and gas exploration has taught me.
But OK, I’ll concede that there is one way we can turn this abomination of a bill filed by Olson into a silk purse. A win-win for everyone. Want to open up the Deepwater for exploration and development before studies have been completed as to what happened in the Deepwater Horizon blowout and what remedial procedures need to be adopted?
All Olson needs to do is insert an amendment in his bill to require, require any Deepwater well be drilled simultaneously with a relief well. No catch-up well drilling. The two wells spud on the same day and keep up with each other. Then if one blows out the other kills the first.
That should ease concerns, shouldn’t it? And as a matter of fact, that should be a boon to the offshore rig count and to employment of drillers and service company workers, casing and equipment suppliers. It’s a new day for the oil and gas industry.
Oh, but then you ask what would happen if both wells blow out simultaneously?
Well, by that time BP should have it all figured out.