House panel pledges hard look at offshore drilling delays

Nick Snow
OGJ Washington Editor

WASHINGTON, DC, Feb. 24 -- US House Natural Resources Committee leaders promised to raise questions about what they consider a de facto offshore drilling moratorium with officials at the US Department of the Interior at hearings in the next 2 weeks. The committee also will hear directly from affected Gulf Coast states, communities, and local businesses on Mar. 16 and conduct a field hearing and site visit in Louisiana during the April district work period, Chairman Doc Hastings (R-Wash.) and Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee Chairman Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) said.

“We’ve heard directly from you, and other members of Congress from the gulf region who are concerned over the Obama administration’s refusal to issue new shallow and deepwater drilling permits in a timely, efficient manner,” they said in a Feb. 23 letter to six Republicans on the committee.

“Indeed, [DOI] has even been held in contempt by a federal judge over its failure to issue permits. It is very evident that real economic pain is being felt by families, businesses and communities in the gulf as a result of the President’s de facto moratorium,” Hastings and Lamborn continued. “The Natural Resources Committee will be actively addressing this issue as it directly relates to our top priorities of economic growth, job creation, national security and oversight.”

They noted that US Interior Sec. Ken Salazar is scheduled to appear before the full committee to discuss DOI’s fiscal 2012 budget request on Mar. 3, and that US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement Director Michael R. Bromwich is scheduled to testify on Mar. 30 about the agency’s budget and permitting policies.

“While the people and local businesses of the gulf have been hardest hit by the administration’s delays, the need to resume offshore energy production is of national importance,” Hastings and Lamborn said in the letter to Reps. John Fleming (R-La.), Bill Flores (R-Tex.), Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.), Jeff Landry (R-La.), David Rivera (R-Fla.), and Steve Southerland (R-Fla.). “Offshore drilling supports thousands of Americans jobs throughout the country. In addition, nearly a third of all US oil is produced in the Gulf of Mexico.”

The Offshore Marine Services Association, which represents US flag service vessel owners and operators, shipyards, and other offshore support businesses, applauded Hastings and Lamborn’s announcement. “The ‘Obamatorium’ is a self-inflicted energy crisis for America. It is an unlawful policy that is actively costing jobs, putting countless more in immediate jeopardy, contributing to skyrocketing fuel prices and making our country more dependent on Middle East oil,” OMSA Pres. Jim Adams said on Feb. 24. “It is time Congress investigated the Obama administration’s destructive policy and exposed the egregious and ongoing harms and to hold the administration accountable for causing it.”

Contact Nick Snow at

Related Articles

US House poised to approve crude export ban repeal, bill’s sponsors say

09/10/2015 The US House is likely to move quickly and approve legislation repealing a 40-year-old ban on exports of domestically produced crude oil, Reps. Joe...

Cedigaz: Marketed gas output up slightly

09/10/2015 Global growth in marketed production of natural gas remained low in 2014 as competition from coal in Europe and Asia, the economic slowdown in Chin...

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude oil prices drop in advance of weekly inventory

09/10/2015 US light, sweet crude oil prices for October dropped $1.79/bbl on the New York market Sept. 9 awaiting the weekly US government report on oil and p...

Pemex, GE sign energy MOU

09/10/2015 Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) and GE have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) establishing a framework for collaboration on technology and fin...

STEO: Global oil consumption revised down on weak China economic data

09/09/2015 In its most recent Short-Term Energy Outlook, the US Energy Information Administration reported it expects global oil consumption to increase 1.2 m...

‘Glass half full’ for gulf deepwater, UDW operations, SPE Gulf Coast chair says

09/09/2015 In the opening session of the Ultradeepwater (UDW) Technology Conference in Houston, jointly hosted by the Research Partnership to Secure Energy fo...

Study finds EISA 2007 law’s renewable fuel mandates won’t work in 2015

09/09/2015 It will not be feasible for the US to reach renewable fuel volumes that the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA 2007) mandates in 20...

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude oil prices seesaw on world market uncertainties

09/09/2015 US light, sweet crude oil prices dropped slightly on the New York market Sept. 8 awaiting the weekly US government report on oil and product invent...

Continental Resources to defer completion activity, cut Bakken rigs

09/09/2015 Continental Resources Inc., Oklahoma City, plans to defer some well completion activity and trim its Bakken shale rig count in an effort to reduce ...
White Papers

UAS Integration for Infrastructure: More than Just Flying

Oil and gas companies recognize the benefits that the use of drones or unmanned aerial systems (UAS) c...

Solutions to Financial Distress Resulting from a Weak Oil and Gas Price Environment

The oil and gas industry is in the midst of a prolonged worldwide downturn in commodity prices. While ...
Sponsored by

2015 Global Engineering Information Management Solutions Competitive Strategy Innovation and Leadership Award

The Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global...
Sponsored by

Three Tips to Improve Safety in the Oil Field

Working oil fields will always be tough work with inherent risks. There’s no getting around that. Ther...
Sponsored by

Pipeline Integrity: Best Practices to Prevent, Detect, and Mitigate Commodity Releases

Commodity releases can have catastrophic consequences, so ensuring pipeline integrity is crucial for p...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Digital Asset Approach - Defining a new era of collaboration in capital projects and asset operations

There is constant, intensive change in the capital projects and asset life cycle management. New chall...
Sponsored by

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
Available Webcasts

Operating a Sustainable Oil & Gas Supply Chain in North America

When Tue, Oct 20, 2015

Short lead times and unpredictable conditions in the Oil & Gas industry can create costly challenges in supply chains. By implementing a LEAN culture of continuous improvement you can eliminate waste, increase productivity and gain end-to-end visibility leading to a sustainable and well-oiled supply chain.

Please join us for this webcast sponsored by Ryder System, Inc.


On Demand

Leveraging technology to improve safety & reliability

Tue, Sep 22, 2015

Attend this informative webinar to learn more about how to leverage technology to meet the new OSHA standards and protect your employees from the hazards of arc flash explosions.


The Resilient Oilfield in the Internet of Things World

Tue, Sep 22, 2015

As we hear about the hype surrounding the Internet of Things, the oil and gas industry is questioning what is different than what is already being done. What is new?  Using sensors and connecting devices is nothing new to our mode of business and in many ways the industry exemplifies many principles of an industrial internet of things. How does the Internet of Things impact the oil and gas industry?

Prolific instrumentation and automation digitized the industry and has changed the approach to business models calling for a systems led approach.  Resilient Systems have the ability to adapt to changing circumstances while maintaining their central purpose.  A resilient system, such as Maximo, allows an asset intensive organization to leverage connected devices by merging real-time asset information with other critical asset information and using that information to create a more agile organization.  

Join this webcast, sponsored by IBM, to learn how about Internet of Things capabilities and resilient systems are impacting the landscape of the oil and gas industry.


Taking the Headache out of Fuel License and Exemption Certificates: How to Ensure Compliance

Tue, Aug 25, 2015

This webinar, brought to you by Avalara, will detail the challenges of tax document management, as well as recommend solutions for fuel suppliers. You will learn:

-    Why it’s critical to track business partner licenses and exemption documents
-    The four key business challenges of ensuring tax compliance through document management
-    Best practice business processes to minimize exposure to tax errors


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