Though The White House lifted the official moratorium on drilling last October, no new permits have so far been awarded by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, part of the US Interior Department. Officials are insisting that the industry must be able to clearly show that it has the capacity to contain an offshore spill before it grants any permits.Until he has polling numbers that say it'll threaten his re-election, he won't lift a finger to help the American people. If he was on our side, we'd be drilling already.
On Friday, Ken Salazar, the Interior Secretary, met in Houston with Marine Well Containment, a consortium from the oil and gas industry working on containment plans.
The rapidly unfolding events in North Africa and the Middle East have given greater voice to those who want to see permits granted immediately for drilling in waters deeper than 500 metres. The calls will only grow louder if there's any evidence of the sweeping political changes reaching Saudi Arabia, Iran and Kuwait, the three biggest oil producers in the region.
Now for the ultimate irony.
BP Plc agreed to bring Pride International Inc.’s drilling rig from the Gulf of Mexico to explore off Libya next year after delaying the plans because of limited rig availability in the Mediterranean.More thoughts here.
The company also needed to analyze the outcome of the Macondo oil spill in the Gulf before going ahead with the move as originally planned for this year, said Toby Odone, a London- based spokesman at BP.
“We’ve hoped to drill as soon as we can and we’d hoped to drill this year,” Odone said by phone today. Libya’s state oil company approved the use of the Deep Ocean Ascension rig in November, he said.
Obama still has media cover. Whenever gas prices spiked during the Bush year the lamestream media basically camped out at the pumps for live remotes. Now they could care less.