National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) President Randall Luthi issued the following statement on Central Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 213:
"On behalf of our member companies, I congratulate the Minerals Management Service on the success of this sale. The results of this sale reconfirm that industry is committed to domestic oil and natural gas production and is willing to heavily invest in the latest technology and practices to safely develop these resources. Companies continue to snap up deep water tracts, where the resources are harder to recover, and of course, more expensive to develop.
"However, bidding in shallow water was also rigorous, despite shorter initial lease periods for the shallowest tracts included in this sale. This may be a nod to the large shallow water natural gas discovery in January of this year by NOIA member companies McMoRan Exploration Company, Plains Exploration & Production Company and Energy XXI.
"MMS estimates today's sale could result in production of up to 1.3 billion barrels of oil and up to 5.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Production from these leases will bring more jobs to Americans and more revenue to the Federal government and some Gulf States. Imagine the benefits to the Nation if sales could take place in more areas of the Outer Continental Shelf.
"This sale is important because it will likely be the last conducted before the Department of the Interior announces plans for future energy development on the Outer Continental Shelf. We are hopeful this plan will accelerate, not delay, the ability of our industry to create jobs, and set a course for reliable energy at a reasonable price for American citizens.
"The many companies that make up the NOIA membership rely upon a consistent and fair leasing program. These companies are vital to our Nation's continued quest for energy security. They provide good paying jobs and reduce our dependence on energy from foreign markets. They also pay taxes and royalties to the Federal government. This is truly a win-win scenario for our country. However, for this winning scenario to continue, our member companies need the opportunity to explore and develop oil and gas, not only in the Gulf of Mexico, but also in the areas along the eastern seaboard and in areas that other states, such as Virginia, have declared ready for energy development.
"The United States must promote energy development, both conventional -- such as oil and gas -- and unconventional -- such as wind, wave and current -- off our shores. Other countries get it! If we walk in place rather than strive forward, more companies will have to take their business elsewhere. We have already seen that trend, with more drilling rigs leaving the Gulf of Mexico for Brazil."
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