Obama: Drilling ban will hurt Louisiana economy

Nick Snow
OGJ Washington Editor

WASHINGTON, DC, June 7 -- US President Barack Obama acknowledged during a June 4 meeting in New Orleans that a 6-month deepwater drilling moratorium would have adverse economic impacts on Louisiana. The president also said he would be willing to listen sooner if engineers and scientists develop methods and procedures that would effectively prevent another deepwater well blowout and rig explosion.

“When I made the decision to issue the moratorium, we knew that that would have an economic impact,” Obama said following a meeting with parish presidents and other government and business leaders. “But what I also knew is that there was no way that we can go about business as usual when we discovered that companies like BP, who had provided assurances that they had fail-safe backup, redundant systems, in fact, not only didn't have fail-safe systems, but had no idea what to do when those fail-safe systems broke down.”

Obama’s remarks came as he began his third US Gulf Coast visit since a BP PLC deepwater well blew out on Apr. 20, killing 11 people, destroying the Deepwater Horizon semisubmersible drilling rig, and setting off a massive oil spill. US Interior Sec. Ken Salazar ordered immediate inspections of other deepwater rigs as he prepared an initial report for the president which he submitted on May 27. It recommended that drilling in water deeper than 500 ft stop until the accident and spill could be fully investigated and new regulations developed.

Obama also formed an independent commission to investigate US offshore resource development policies and regulation as well as the accident and spill, cochaired by former Florida Gov. Bob Graham and former US Environmental Protection Agency Administrator William K. Reilly.

When Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindahl and other government officials in the state expressed concern about a deepwater drilling moratorium’s economic impact, the president said on June 4, he told them what he told Graham and Reilly “which is, if they can front-load some of the analysis of what went wrong and how you would solve what has happened and what can happen, and you can do that more quickly than 6 months, then let me know. Don't hold the results of your review for 6 months, and then tell me. Tell me when you find out.”

‘Even worse impact’
Obama said he also emphasized that he would not tolerate corners being cut or investigators taking less time than they need “to do an accurate, independent job based on sound science because I do not want to see this thing repeated…. As difficult as it may be, it’s important for us to do this right. If we don’t, you could end up seeing an even worse impact on the oil industry down here, which is so important to so many jobs.”

Obama said everyone with whom he spoke said they wanted offshore oil and gas operations to be safe and future accidents and leaks avoided. “They did ask, can we do it faster,” he said, adding, “And what I said to them was the same thing that I said to Graham and Reilly, which is, you do it as fast as it takes to do it right.”

Obama also said federal officials have been assigned “to look over BP’s shoulder” and work with state and local officials to make certain damage claims are processed promptly, fairly, “and that BP is now lawyering up.”

He said the US Coast Guard and BP each have an official working directly with every Louisiana parish president so they can quickly relay word of any problems to Incident Comm. Thad W. Allen so he can respond quickly. “And we want to set that up not just in Louisiana, but in Alabama as well as in Florida,” he said. “We want county equivalents to have that same kind of representation and rapid response.”

“I don't have a problem with BP fulfilling its legal obligations,” Obama said. “But I want BP to be very clear: They’ve got moral and legal obligations here in the gulf for the damage that has been done. And what I don't want to hear is, when they’re spending that kind of money on their shareholders and spending that kind of money on TV advertising, that they’re nickel-and-diming fishermen or small businesses here who are having a hard time.”

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

Related Articles

Deloitte studies oil supply growth for 2015-16

02/04/2015 A Deloitte MarketPoint analysis suggested large-field projects, each producing more than 25,000 b/d, could bring on 1.835 million b/d in oil supply...

Inpex starts development drilling at Ichthys field

02/04/2015

Inpex Corp. has started development drilling in Ichthys gas-condensate field in the Browse basin, about 200 km offshore Western Australia.

BG’s 2015 budget ‘significantly lower than 2014’

02/03/2015 BG Group plans capital expenditures on a cash basis of $6-7 billion in 2015, a range it says is “significantly lower than 2014” due to “a lower oil...

BP trims capital budget by $4-6 billion

02/03/2015 BP PLC plans an organic capital expenditure of $20 billion in 2015, down from the previous guidance $24-26 billion. Total organic capital expenditu...

IHS sees second-half end of US output surge

02/03/2015

Expectations are moderating about growth of oil production in the US this year.

Gazprom Neft starts shale oil production in western Siberian field

02/03/2015 JSC Gazprom Neft reported start of shale oil production from the Bazhenov formation during tests of two wells in southern Priobskoye field in centr...

Anadarko reports 2014 loss, remains upbeat about Wattenberg

02/03/2015 Anadarko Petroleum Corp. announced a 2014 net loss of $1.75 billion, or $3.47/share diluted, including a net loss of $4.05 billion associated with ...

CNOOC cuts capital budget, starts production from Jinzhou 9-3

02/03/2015 CNOOC Ltd. is slashing its capital budget for 2015 by 26-35% to $11.25-12.86 billion compared with last year’s budget. Capital expenditures for exp...

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude oil stays positive on lower rig count

02/03/2015 Oil prices on the New York and London markets closed higher Feb. 2 on positive momentum generated by a falling US rig count, suggesting cuts in pro...

White Papers

Transforming the Oil and Gas Industry with EPPM

With budgets in the billions, timelines spanning years, and life cycles extending over decades, oil an...
Sponsored by

Asset Decommissioning in Oil & Gas: Transforming Business

Asset intensive organizations like Oil and Gas have their own industry specific challenges when it com...
Sponsored by

Squeezing the Green: How to Cut Petroleum Downstream Costs and Optimize Processing Efficiencies with Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Solutions

As the downstream petroleum industry grapples with change in every sector and at every level, includin...
Sponsored by

7 Steps to Improve Oil & Gas Asset Decommissioning

Global competition and volatile markets are creating a challenging business climate for project based ...
Sponsored by

The impact of aging infrastructure in process manufacturing industries

Process manufacturing companies in the oil and gas, utilities, chemicals and natural resource industri...
Sponsored by

What is System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis?

This paper will explain some of the fundamentals of System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis and demonstrate...

Accurate Thermo-Fluid Simulation in Real Time Environments

The crux of any task undertaken in System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis is striking a balance between ti...

6 ways for Energy, Chemical and Oil and Gas Companies to Avert the Impending Workforce Crisis

As many as half of the skilled workers in energy, chemical and oil & gas industries are quickly he...
Sponsored by

Available Webcasts



Global LNG: Adjusting to New Realties

When Fri, Mar 20, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s March 20, 2015, webcast will look at how global LNG trade will be affected over the next 12-24 months by falling crude oil prices and changing patterns and pressures of demand. Will US LNG production play a role in balancing markets? Or will it add to a growing global oversupply of LNG for markets remote from easier natural gas supply? Will new buyers with marginal credit, smaller requirements, or great need for flexibility begin to look attractive to suppliers? How will high-cost, mega-projects in Australia respond to new construction cost trends?

register:WEBCAST


US Midstream at a Crossroads

When Fri, Mar 6, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s Mar. 6, 2015, webcast will focus on US midstream companies at an inflection point in their development in response to more than 6 years shale oil and gas production growth. Major infrastructure—gas plants, gathering systems, and takeaway pipelines—have been built. Major fractionation hubs have expanded. Given the radically changed pricing environment since mid-2014, where do processors go from here? What is the fate of large projects caught in mid-development? How to producers and processors cooperate to ensure a sustainable and profitable future? This event will serve to set the discussion table for the annual GPA Convention in San Antonio, Apr. 13-16, 2015.

This event is sponsored by Leidos Engineering.

register:WEBCAST



On Demand

The Future of US Refining

Fri, Feb 6, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s Feb. 6, 2015, webcast will focus on the future of US refining as various forces this year conspire to pull the industry in different directions. Lower oil prices generally reduce feedstock costs, but they have also lowered refiners’ returns, as 2015 begins with refined products priced at lows not seen in years. If lower per-barrel crude prices dampen production of lighter crudes among shale plays, what will happen to refiners’ plans to export more barrels of lighter crudes? And as always, refiners will be affected by government regulations, particularly those that suppress demand, increase costs, or limit access to markets or supply.

register:WEBCAST


Oil & Gas Journal’s Forecast & Review/Worldwide Pipeline Construction 2015

Fri, Jan 30, 2015

The  Forecast & Review/Worldwide Pipeline Construction 2015 Webcast will address Oil & Gas Journal’s outlooks for the oil market and pipeline construction in a year of turbulence. Based on two annual special reports, the webcast will be presented by OGJ Editor Bob Tippee and OGJ Managing Editor-Technology Chris Smith.
The Forecast & Review portion of the webcast will identify forces underlying the collapse in crude oil prices and assess prospects for changes essential to recovery—all in the context of geopolitical pressures buffeting the market.

register:WEBCAST


Emerson Micro Motion Videos

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected