Members of the Offshore Marine Service Association (OMSA) met Nov. 22, in Houma, Louisiana, with U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar to discuss ongoing challenges affecting the offshore oil and gas industry. Industry urged a clearly defined roadmap for obtaining shallow and deepwater drilling permits in order to get this vital industry back to work before additional strategic energy assets are mobilized to foreign offshore markets.
"While we appreciate the opportunity to meet with Secretary Salazar to ask for long overdue regulatory clarity that will allow work to resume in the Gulf, we want an end to the Administration's hollow promises. The Administration has repeatedly denied there being a de facto shallow water moratorium, even though the issuance of permits has practically halted since May. Similarly, despite lifting the moratorium on October 12, not a single deep water exploration permit has been issued, despite permit applicants providing evidence of compliance with new governmental requirements designed to increase drilling safety since the Deepwater Horizon tragedy. This de facto moratorium affecting both deepwater and shallow water operations places our nation's long-term energy production capabilities and its national security at risk," said Jim Adams, Interim President/CEO, OMSA.
"Other countries are taking advantage of the U.S. moratorium to secure our most strategic assets and technology, forcing OMSA members to bid long-term contracts to markets such as Brazil and West Africa," he continued.
The ban on deep-water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico has had a significant impact across the entire U.S. economy, placing thousands of jobs at risk in the midst of a weak economy.
"The time is now for our government to take unequivocal action, take those steps necessary to put Americans back to work and to secure our long-term strategic national energy interests,"Adams continued.
OMSA also thanked Senator Mary Landrieu, a steadfast champion for the men and women who work on offshore support vessels that make oil and gas production possible, along with Senator David Vitter for his leadership and for attending the meeting.