DNR Secretary Angelle says Gulf Lease Sale Proves Energy Industry Serious About Getting Back to Work
BATON ROUGE – Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Secretary Scott Angelle said today that the $1.7 billion federal lease sale for the Central Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) is further proof that energy exploration and production are prepared to invest in developing the resources of the area and realizing the potential of the area to provide jobs, energy, and economic strength.
The U.S. Bureau of Energy Management opened bids in New Orleans for the first lease sale for the federal waters of the area, also referred to informally as the Louisiana OCS, since March 2010, a few months prior to the declaration of a months-long federal moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and subsequent cancellation of a Louisiana OCS lease sale planned for August 2010.
Combined with the December 2011 federal lease sale for the Western Gulf of Mexico, commonly referred to as the Texas OCS, exploration companies have committed more than $2 billion in Gulf of Mexico leasing in the past seven months.
Angelle has led the state’s efforts for further discussion and to mediate issues between federal regulators and energy exploration companies through the Back-To-Work Coalition, an association of Gulf exploration stakeholders that has worked, and continues to work, to find a regulatory middle ground that ensures safe and responsible operations while allowing development of the resources that provide domestic energy and domestic jobs.
“We have been telling federal regulators that companies have the desire and the resources to invest in the Gulf of Mexico, and the recent progress we have made in improving the pace of permitting, although we are not yet where we want to be, is the best way to express confidence to the marketplace,” he said.
Angelle said that when the industry has sufficient confidence in its ability to operate and develop in the federal OCS waters, the investments made by those companies in drilling rigs, supply companies, transport companies and supply companies translate into more opportunities for jobs and income growth for workers, whether they are directly employed by the industry or not.
“We have made clear to the federal government that through a robust, yet safe, permitting process, thousands of good paying jobs can be created, thousands of homes can be built, thousands of new cars and trucks sold, fleets of boats can be hired and maintained. Workers with good paying jobs can buy more furniture, eat more often at restaurants and make service companies very busy again,” Angelle said. “The investment in this lease sale confirms what we've been saying – ‘There's a lot of golf left in the Gulf!’ Now is the time for our nation to take advantage of this energy and improve our economy without sacrificing our environment.”