U.S. oil groups urge Biden administration to support energy security by removing offshore production barriers
(WO) – The American Petroleum Institute (API) called on the Biden administration to help meet growing energy demand by allowing for consistent and predictable access to America’s vast energy resources offshore. In comments submitted to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) in response to the Call for Information and Nominations for 2024-2029 Gulf of Mexico Lease Sales, API joined with EnerGeo Alliance, the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) and the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association (LMOGA) in reiterating its concern regarding the administration’s repeated attempts to restrict future offshore production and urged the agency to promptly finalize its five-year offshore leasing program without delay and hold each of the lease sales scheduled on a region-wide basis in the Gulf of Mexico.
“The U.S. Gulf of Mexico has been the backbone of U.S. energy production for years, providing more than one million barrels of oil equivalent per day for the last two decades,” API Vice President of Upstream Policy Holly Hopkins said. “The decisions made regarding future leasing will have short- and long-term implications for our nation’s energy and national security, job creation, and government revenue.”
In addition to submitting comments on the Call for Information, the associations joined with the National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) and the Offshore Operators Committee (OOC) to submit comments in response to BOEM’s Notice of Intent to Prepare a Gulf of Mexico Regional Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement.
In both comment letters, the associations highlighted the Biden administration’s repeated attempts to restrict energy production in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, including issuing an unlawful moratorium on oil and gas lease sales; cancelling offshore sales; allowing the five-year program for federal offshore leasing to expire; adding unjustified restrictions and removing acreage from a congressionally-mandated lease sale and issuing a final five-year program with the fewest lease sales in history. The associations urged Interior to end the bureaucratic delays, including additional NEPA reviews, and move forward with region-wide lease sales as soon as possible.
“Without the right implementation, the administration’s five-year program will become a mere paper exercise instead of an actionable vehicle for strengthening U.S. energy security,” Hopkins concluded.