Drilling into Energy Security

By March 17, 2010Energy, Global Warming

Prominent play on the front of the Metro section in today’s Washington Post, “Virginia leaders express interest in offshore drilling“:

RICHMOND — Never has the political climate in Virginia so favored offshore drilling.

Most Virginia leaders — regardless of their political party — have expressed interest in joining Alaska, Texas, Louisiana and other states in setting up offshore platforms to drill for oil and natural gas.

Gov. Robert F. McDonnell and fellow elected Republicans strongly back the proposal, as do most members of the state’s congressional delegation, including both U.S. senators, who are Democrats.

The Tallahassee Democrat reports, “Drilling report’s conclusions disappoint both sides:

With its chief proponent saying he is in no hurry, the push to open Florida waters to oil and gas drilling inched past another milestone Monday when a House panel was briefed on a report by a Florida think tank.

House Speaker-designate Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park, said he was pleased with the report, which was prepared by the Collins Center and the Century Commission for a Sustainable Florida.

“It was fascinating how much of it jibed with what we’ve been hearing in testimony from the experts,” Cannon said.

Cannon: “I’m pleased with the report.” Newspaper: “Both sides disappointed.”

The report concludes that Gulf of Mexico oil production would produce $80 million to $190 million annually in revenue to the state, creating 2,000 to 5,000 jobs.

A recent article in NewChevron's Tahiti Platformsweek provides the big picture, or deep picture, as the case may be. From “Journey to the Center of the Earth“:

From the window of a helicopter 1,500 feet above the Gulf of Mexico, oil platforms look like Tinkertoys in a swimming pool. Dozens dot the horizon stretching south from New Orleans and continuing out as the water deepens and turns a darker blue. Then, about 50 miles offshore, the platforms stop, and for the next hundred miles there’s nothing. This is the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, where the ocean floor is 8,000 feet down and covered in a heavy layer of muck. Below that is an ancient salt bed several miles thick, and hidden under that, trapped tens of thousands of feet down, there’s oil—billions and billions of barrels of it. And it’s all in U.S. waters.

The article uses Chevron’s Tahiti platform (pictured above) as the base of reporting. Good story, tremendous prospects.

If only …

From The Washington Examiner,The Obama Moratorium: No offshore drilling while he’s in office

The Obama administration’s six-month delay in approving new offshore drilling leases in federal waters will become a new three-year ban, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar quietly told reporters last Friday. Which means that no new oil and gas leases will be approved during President Obama’s term even though two –thirds of the American public supports such activity, according to a December 2009 Rasmussen poll.

Sixty percent also believe that gas and oil prices will drop if the government allows offshore drilling, opening up an estimate 14 billion barrels of oil and 55 trillion cubic feet of natural gas

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