MMS OCS Policy Committee plans first post-moratorium meeting

The US Minerals Management Service's Outer Continental Shelf Policy Committee will hold its next meeting Dec. 9-10 at the Washington Dulles Crowne Plaza Hotel in Herndon, Va. It is open to the public, with space for about 100 people beyond committee members and their staffs.

Dec. 9-10: The US Minerals Management Service's Outer Continental Shelf Policy Committee will hold its next meeting at the Washington Dulles Crowne Plaza Hotel in Herndon, Va. It is open to the public, with space for about 100 people beyond committee members and their staffs.

Why it matters: It's a brave new world for the MMS OCS Policy Committee since this will be its first meeting since Congress let drilling moratoriums expire on Sept. 30. has tentatively scheduled an oil and gas lease sale during 2011. The first day's agenda includes a 2 p.m. panel discussion on what OCS policies should be in the absence of leasing bans after more than 20 years. Panel members from two coastal states and the natural gas industry will focus on states' views of OCS developments, industry interest in areas which previously were off-limits, energy resource and supply-demand projections, and where energy will come from in 15 years. A question-and-answer period will follow.

Members also will be discussing the new five-year program covering the 2010-15 period which US Interior Secretary Dirk A. Kempthorne launched at the end of July in response to dramatic changes in prices and other underlying fundamentals. Prices have dropped since then and with the world apparently following the United States into recession, demand growth probably will slow down at the very least. A discussion of revenue-sharing with coastal states previously under moratoriums also will be held. OCS Policy Committee Chairman Victor G. Carillo, director of the Texas Railroad Commission's oil and gas division, will present a proposed policy direction resolution toward the end of the first day.

Activities on the second day include presentations by directors of MMS's three OCS regions and an offshore energy issues roundtable with state representatives. The meeting will run from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Dec. 9 and from 8:15 a.m. to noon on Dec. 4. Additional information is available online at www.mms.gov/mmab/PolicyCommittee/pcnew.htm.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com

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