Oil and gas exploration has been suspended in the Gulf since May, one month after the Deepwater Horizon explosion that killed 11 workers and led to the worst offshore oil spill in American history. In a few weeks, drilling and exploration will resume.
The Obama administration will allow 13 companies to resume their work on 16 different offshore projects that had already been approved and were in operation when the May moratorium took effect. These projects must abide by the new safety rules, but will not be subjected to the newly enhanced environmental reviews.
The status of more than a dozen applications for offshore drilling permits that had not been approved prior to the moratorium remains unclear. The new bids will have to follow the enhanced environmental reviews as well as the new safety regs.
This seems to be a healthy compromise for the moment, as Gulf states have been hit hard by the lull in drilling and its subsequent affect on the economy. As long as the Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management does a good job enforcing the new safety and environmental laws, offshore oil and gas operations should become a safer endeavor; although the risks are always present and potentially disastrous.
(via Wall Street Journal)
Photo via Fast Company