API Reviews Proposed Arctic Offshore Regulations

The Arctic is an essential piece of the energy equation and vital to keeping America’s status as a world leader in energy, so API is carefully reviewing proposed Arctic offshore regulations released Friday, said API Director of Upstream Erik Milito.

“The safe and responsible development of oil and natural gas in the Arctic is critical to our economy and national security,” said Milito. “We are reviewing these rules to ensure they offer a realistic path for energy production in the Arctic. Failure to develop these resources would put America's global energy leadership at risk at a time when Russia and other Arctic nations are forging ahead.

“After an initial review, we are concerned by the requirement that a second rig be on standby to respond to a potential well control event. Other equipment and methods, such as a capping stack, can be used to achieve the same season relief with equal or higher levels of safety and environmental protection. For this reason, it is unnecessarily burdensome to effectively require two rigs to drill a single well.

“We intend to closely examine the government’s standards for allowing ‘alternative compliance measures.’ Due to the length and complexity of this rule – and since a detailed Arctic Research Study commissioned by the Secretary of Energy will not be available until March 27 – a 60-day comment period is unreasonable for all stakeholders.

“Predictable rules and regularly scheduled lease sales are needed to attract investment in U.S. Arctic energy development, which will create good new jobs and raise new revenue for Alaska and the federal government.

“Exploration and production in the Arctic is not new, and technology already in place is proven to protect the environment. Oil and natural gas resources are being developed safety and responsibly in cold water and Arctic environments around the world, from Alaska to Norway to Sakhalin Island. Thirty-five wells have already been drilled in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas with no significant impact on marine life in the region.

“Exploring for and producing oil offshore Alaska and on the North Slope is essential to a healthy Alaskan economy and to keeping the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System in operation. The Trans-Alaska Pipeline System is one of America’s energy lifelines, providing jobs and a secure supply of fuel to American consumers on the West Coast.”

API represents all segments of America’s oil and natural gas industry. Its more than 625 members produce, process, and distribute most of the nation’s energy. The industry also supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy.


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