Washington, D.C., November 30, 2012 – Banning BP from bidding in future offshore lease sales could have a hugely negative ripple effect on drilling contractors and the rest of the offshore industry as well as the Gulf region, and even the Federal government. The offshore oil and gas industry, which is based almost entirely in the Gulf of Mexico, supported over 200,000 American jobs in 2010 and contributed nearly $80 billion in revenues to the federal government from 2001-2010. BP is the largest operator in the Gulf of Mexico, and its investments in the region create business opportunities for many other companies, create and sustain good jobs in the region, and generate much needed government revenue.
The timing of the EPA announcement was unfortunate, coming on the same day as the first offshore lease sale in the Administration’s new five year plan. Although BP submitted no bids, the Federal government profited by $133 million from this week’s Western Gulf lease sale. The next offshore lease sale, scheduled for March 2013 in the Central Gulf of Mexico, is expected to bring in a much bigger take for the Federal government. The National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) and the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC), both of which count BP as a member, feel that EPA’s suspension may be overly punitive, considering BP’s diligent efforts to work with the federal government on cleanup and restoration efforts, and given the further potential far reaching impacts of the action. We are hopeful that the offshore industry, the Gulf region, and the Federal government can benefit from BP’s participation in the upcoming Central Gulf sale and future offshore lease sales.
IADC is dedicated to enhancing the interests of oil-and-gas and geothermal drilling contractors worldwide. IADC’s contract-drilling members own most of the world’s land and offshore drilling units and drill the vast majority of the wells that produce the planet’s oil and gas. IADC’s membership also includes oil-and-gas producers, and manufacturers and suppliers of oilfield equipment and services. Founded in 1940, IADC’s mission is to improve industry health, safety and environmental practices; advance drilling and completion technology; and champion responsible standards, practices, legislation and regulations that provide for safe, efficient and environmentally sound drilling operations worldwide. IADC holds Accredited Observer status at the International Maritime Organization and the International Seabed Authority, specialized agencies of the United Nations. The Association is a leader in developing standards for industry training, notably its Well Control Accreditation Program (WellCAP)® and rig-floor orientation program, RIG PASS®. IADC is headquartered in Houston and has offices in Washington D.C., the Netherlands, Thailand, and the United Arab Emirates, as well as chapters in the UK, Venezuela, Brazil, Australasia, South Central Asia, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and across the United States. For more information, visit the IADC website at www.iadc.org.