Offshore News

NOIA condemns continuing offshore oil and gas leasing program delays

The National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) is slamming foot dragging by the U.S. Department of the Interior in developing the next federal offshore oil and gas leasing program. The leasing program is amid a lengthy and unprecedented delay after the previous program expired on July 1, 2022, with no replacement plan in place.

Now, according to a legal brief filed by Interior March 6 and cited by NOIA, the department does not intend to approve a new program until December 2023.

“The continued, prolonged, and unprecedented delay of the U.S. offshore oil and gas leasing program is injecting substantial and unnecessary uncertainty into the investment outlook for U.S. energy and national security,” said NOIA president Erik Milito. “The U.S. offshore region competes with other offshore regions throughout the world for investment in energy producing projects. Historically, the U.S. has been able to compete effectively under its statutory and regulatory framework. However, as certainty and predictability has continued to erode as a result of stifling energy policy decisions out of Washington, investment dollars may begin to flow to other producing regions.”

“We must work together to advance real-world solutions that unlock affordable, reliable, and environmentally responsible energy while bringing low and zero carbon technologies and energy to reality,” continued Milito. “Beyond its legal requirement, the prompt finalization of an offshore oil and gas leasing program is critical to meeting fundamental energy realities and ensuring Americans have affordable supplies of energy for decades to come. The Gulf of Mexico serves as a national strategic energy asset, safely producing among the lowest carbon barrels of oil in the world and boosting our national security at a critical time in history. The loss of a stable and regular leasing environment will dim long-term American energy leadership.”

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