SAFE recommends pilots to minimize industry footprint

An energy advocacy group recommends a series of pilot programs to leverage technology minimizing the oil and gas industry’s footprint in frontier areas such as the US Arctic and Outer Continental Shelf.

Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) on Aug. 1 released a report, “US Oil Supply Post-Macondo” suggesting policymakers could do more to promote domestic production while protecting the environment.

SAFE argued regulatory uncertainty surrounding hydraulic fracturing poses an emerging risk to production of shale gas and liquids. The group called on the industry as well as state and federal regulators to provide a more comprehensive development framework.

The report recommends a shift in federal offshore oil and gas regulation to an approach based on goals instead of rules; increased funding for the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement to attract better qualified employees; and use of the new regulatory approach to open frontier areas.

Other recommendations included implementing distance-from-shore provisions to minimize the operations footprints in frontier areas, initiating an “inventory-to-lease” program in OCS frontier areas, and implementing a system of progressive royalties for new frontier leases.

The report also recommends creation of loan guarantees to construct carbon dioxide pipelines so enhanced oil recovery can increase oil recovery rates, and establishment of a comprehensive regulatory approach for unconventional oil and gas production.


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