Today’s New Orleans Times-Picayune reported that Noble Energy has been issued the first deepwater drilling permit since the BP blowout last year. The article noted that the permit was to resume work on a previously approved well.
The article reports:
“Unrest in Libya and elsewhere in the Middle East is fostering uncertainty in the oil markets and driving U.S. gas prices up significantly. Sen. David Vitter, R-La., reacted to the Noble permit by mentioning the specter of $4-per-gallon gas at the pumps and threatened to maintain his hold on Obama’s Fish and Wildlife Service nominee Dan Ashe until 15 deepwater drilling permits are approved.”
I hate to admit that I am cynical about this permit, but the above paragraph might explain why it was suddenly issued.
The article further reports:
“”This permit represents a significant milestone for us and for the offshore oil and gas industry, and is an important step towards safely developing deepwater energy supplies offshore,” Bromwich said. “This permit was issued for one simple reason: the operator successfully demonstrated that it can drill its deepwater well safely and that it is capable of containing a subsea blowout if it were to occur. We expect further deepwater permits to be approved in coming weeks and months based on the same process that led to the approval of this permit.”
“Most drilling in deepwater was banned by President Barack Obama’s administration last May through Oct. 12. Since then, the only permits that have been approved have been for the type of technical work that wasn’t prohibited by the drilling moratorium, such as water-infusion wells that are not intended to tap into oil reservoirs.”
America has the oil and natural gas resources to be energy independent and to end the recession we are currently in (I know the government says the recession is over, but there are still an awful lot of people looking for jobs). The problem has been that oil companies have not been able to obtain the permits and leases to go after the oil and natural gas. Hopefully the recent unrest in the Middle East has caused the Obama Administration to see the need for energy independence (unfortunately, we are a carbon-based economy, so energy independence involves coal, oil, and natural gas–not wind and solar). Wind and solar may be the energy of the future, but coal, oil, and natural gas are the energy of the present.