Louisiana OCS Rig Count at 43
First One-Week Count to Surpass Three-Month Average Prior to Moratorium
BATON ROUGE – Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Secretary Scott Angelle on Friday announced that the number of rigs operating in the federal Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) waters off Louisiana’s coast has reached a new post-moratorium high of 43 in the most recent weekly count – marking the first time since the moratorium was declared that any weekly count has been higher than the rig count average over the three months just before the 2010 drilling ban.
The average count of rigs running during the three months prior to the federal moratorium that was declared lifted in October 2010 was 42, compared to an average of 38 over the last three months of weekly counts. In the weeks following the declaration of the moratorium, the rig count fell as low as 11, and averaged about 27 through 2011. The current count of 43 rigs drilling in Louisiana OCS waters is up 14 from the 29 active rigs that were operating in the area at the same time last year.
This week’s count of Louisiana OCS rigs, which includes those operating in areas classified as shallow water and deepwater, also marks the first time that activity has been sustained for four straight weeks at 40 running rigs or more since the weeks before federal regulators declared a months-long ban on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico in late May 2010.
“In the recent run of activity approaching the level of exploration and production we were experiencing two years ago, prior to the drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico, we can see evidence of the successful efforts of the state of Louisiana and our partners in the Back-to-Work Coalition and the Gulf Economic Survival Team (GEST) to bring back the jobs and economic opportunities supported by the offshore industry,” Angelle said. “At the same time, we should remember that the 2010 benchmark was part of an upward-rising trend following the previous year’s global downturn in drilling activity – and that upswing in exploration activity was abruptly cut-off. We are close to where we were two years ago, but we still have much work to do to fully get back on pace to realize the energy and economic potential of the Louisiana OCS.”
Gov. Bobby Jindal in 2010 designated Angelle to head the Back-To-Work Coalition, an association of Gulf exploration stakeholders that has worked, and continues to work, to help both federal regulators and the industry find a regulatory middle ground that ensures safe and responsible operations while allowing development of the resources that provide domestic energy and domestic jobs.
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