• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Deepwater Drilling Permitting Rate Still Way Below Average

    As gas prices continue to climb — reaching as high as $5.75 to $6.03 a gallon in some places — the Department of the Interior remains stingy with deepwater drilling permits.

    Since February 2011, the administration has issued an average of just 1.3 deepwater permits per month — a 78 percent monthly reduction from the historical monthly average of 5.8 permits a month, according to the latest Gulf Permit Index from Greater New Orleans Inc.

    The slow pace of permitting will likely eventually result in production declines — and that decrease in supply is unlikely to mitigate high gas prices.

    Fortunately, for the first time in more than a year, the Interior Department has issued more shallow-water permits a month than the historical monthly average. For each of the past three months, the department has issued an average of 7.7 shallow-water permits — an increase from the historical monthly average of 7.1 permits per month.

    The Gulf Permit Index serves as a useful barometer of the number of permits issued — but it cannot measure the number of permit applications the Interior Department has rejected. Anecdotal evidence from the Gulf suggests government bureaucrats sometimes return permit applications to applicants for minor revisions before they even accept the applications for official consideration.

    Frustration with the ongoing de facto deepwater drilling moratorium continues to mount among those who see a connection among the pace of permitting, production, gas prices and national security. Seventy-six percent of likely U.S. voters do not think the United States does enough to develop its own gas and oil resources, according to an April 19, 2011, Rasmussen Report.

    “[That] perhaps helps to explain why opposition to President Obama’s continuing ban on oil drilling off the Eastern seaboard and in the eastern portion of the Gulf of Mexico is up from early December when the policy was first announced,” the report states.

    Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ga.) has heard much the same from his constituents.

    “The folks I talk to in my district understand simple economics, supply and demand — demand is increasing, supply is decreasing, prices go up, they wonder why and when you reflect back on the various de facto moratoriums that are in place, they can’t believe that that’s there,” he said yesterday at The Bloggers Briefing. “We’ve been called to be good stewards of what we’ve been blessed with and we’ve been blessed with a lot of resources in the United States, but you can’t be a steward of something you don’t have access to, so we need to have access.”

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    6 Responses to Deepwater Drilling Permitting Rate Still Way Below Average

    1. Dan Walter Rykard says:

      I live in Louisiana and Obama could put a lot of people back to work here instead of Brazil. But on the other hand the amount of money Exxon Mobile made last quarter I do not understand why we keep on paying for gas at this amount and the word is it will go higher by Summer. If we put one day aside where no body bought any fuel the truckers stop and the people stop I will bet the prices will go down we still hold the power or have you forgot that.

    2. Richard, New Orleans says:

      One easy way to make offshore drilling safer is to look at what caused previous incidents. It has been more than a year since the Macondo blow-out, yet Secretary Bromwich's BOEM (former MMS) has yet to tell the industry and public what went wrong and how to avoid a similar well blow-out. The BOEM investigation is still not complete.

      Get off the dime BOEM, issue the investigation and issue more drilling permits. Just as every air plane in the country is not stopped from flying after an air plane incident, neither should all drilling permits be cancelled after a single incident.

    3. Lloyd Scallan (New O says:

      Despite a federal judge in New Orleans, twice finding the Obama led DOI in contempt for not following his orders to open the drilling permit process, they have continued to blatantly ignored the judge's orders.Their latest out and out lie now is the department "does not have enough personnel to review the permit applications". At ever turn, this Obama controled administration has used every possible excuse (both legal and illegle) to NOT approve drilling permits.

      It's real simple. When crude supply drops, cost goes up! With just the Gulf off line, that adds a drop of about 13% of world production.

      In a recent study, the overall revenue for drill lease sales will drop from $9.4 billion

      to "0". That's lease revenue dollars lost. When we consider jobs lost and the amount of lost revenue that will result, can any honest person not recognize Obama's true intentions?

      Obama objective is to completely distroy this nation's economical system (capitalism) and replace it with SOCIALISM. Wake up America and please wake up your neighbors before it's too late.

    4. Leon Lundquist, Dura says:

      I wish some of these Obamanable Regulators would be put in Jail for violating the Court Order on his Permitorium. The Administration is lawless, actually. They double deal in Court just like they double deal in Foreign Affairs and on the Budget. Short of cuffing Progressives I just don't know how you are going to stop them. Contempt of Court gets half an effort, the Administration is still dragging its feet. The abandonment of their Alaska project after losing billions of dollars has put Big Oil on notice "No matter what the Law says!" These are Gangsters in Government. They have no intention of governing in the American Interest!

      At some point the legal challenges have to get into Criminal Court! The acts of the Administration in defiance of Congress are High Crimes in plain sight! If the House doesn't investigate, prosecute and Impeach somebody we will never get our country back. There is a tipping point in the Progressive attack on American Representation. After that there will be no House Conservatives and no investigations possible. I tell you the Progressives are masters at usurping Representation, throwing elections and massive deception. Impeach somebody, that will lead to the Big Guy!

    5. Pingback: President Obama's Energy Policies Bankrupt Seahawk Drilling | The Foundry

    6. Pingback: This Date in History: Obama Imposes Job-Destroying Drilling Moratorium | The Foundry

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.