API-NOIA study lists potential Atlantic OCS development benefits

Opening the US Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf to oil and gas activity could create 280,000 jobs, generate $195 billion in private investment, and increase US production by 1.3 million boe/d, a new study concluded.

The Quest Offshore Inc. analysis, which the American Petroleum Institute and National Ocean Industries Association jointly commissioned, also found US Atlantic OCS exploration and production could contribute up to $23.5 billion/year to the US economy, and generate $51 billion in revenue for federal and state governments during 2017-35.

If the first US Atlantic OCS lease sales were held in 2018, exploratory drilling could begin the following year with the first production of oil and gas expected in 2026, the study said. “Major capital investments, job creation, and revenue to government would all begin years before the first barrel goes to market,” it added.

“The key is getting Atlantic lease sales included in the federal government’s 2017-22 5-year program, which the administration will soon begin to prepare,” NOIA Pres. Randall B. Luthi told reporters during a Dec. 5 teleconference. “Completing a seismic study of the region also is essential.”

Economic benefits of opening the US Atlantic OCS to oil and gas activity would be felt national, according to Erik Milito, API’s upstream and industry operations director, who also participated.

“None of these economic benefits will occur unless the federal government adopts a different strategy,” Milito said, adding, “The only question is whether it will open the door to more jobs, more economic growth, and more domestic energy production from the Atlantic OCS.”

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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