Thursday, September 30, 2010

Oil Drilling News


US govt to unveil new drilling rules by Thursday

Questions about what's next as offshore drilling ban expires

This is kind of a misleading headline.  As stated in this article and the one above, new drilling rules are being released today, which will likely lead to a lifting of the deep water drilling moratorium sometime between today and November 30.

Salazar Announces Regulations to Strengthen Drilling Safety, Reduce Risk of Human Error on Offshore Oil and Gas Operations

"The Drilling Safety Rule, effective immediately upon publication, makes mandatory several requirements for the drilling process that were laid out in Secretary Salazar's May 27th Safety Report to President Obama. The regulation prescribes proper cementing and casing practices and the appropriate use of drilling fluids in order to maintain well bore integrity, the first line of defense against a blowout. The regulation also strengthens oversight of mechanisms designed to shut off the flow of oil and gas, primarily the Blowout Preventer (BOP) and its components, including Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs), shear rams and pipe rams. Operators must also secure independent and expert reviews of their well design, construction and flow intervention mechanisms. 

The Workplace Safety Rule requires operators to have a Safety and Environmental Management System (SEMS), which is a comprehensive safety and environmental impact program designed to reduce human and organizational errors as the root cause of work-related accidents and offshore oil spills."


Will the oil spill make a drop of difference regarding our attitudes?

"Most unchanged of all: U.S. motorists. Oil companies go to sea to keep us moving around on land. More than half of U.S. oil use -- and about one in eight crude oil barrels worldwide -- goes to fuel our cars and trucks.  

The spill "probably seeds that desire to get onto cleaner fuels, but we haven't seen a political impulse in these hard economic times to do anything costly to achieve that goal," said Phil Sharp, a former congressman and president of Resources for the Future, a Washington think tank." 

New taxes would harm fragile US economy, economists agree

Well, not exactly independent economists.  These were economists from the American Petroleum Institute, National Association of Manufacturers, and National Association of Home Builders. API acts like they're concerned for the consumer, but what they're really concerned about is protecting their bloated bottom line.

Abandoned Oil Wells: Hidden Beneath SoCal Cruising Waters
"Beginning in 1960, the search for California's offshore oil expanded greatly. From Santa Barbara to San Diego, thousands of offshore holes were sunk along fault lines, in hopes of finding oil-rich sands. Some produced commercially viable amounts of oil. Most were plugged and abandoned. Amazingly, these abandoned and capped wells, all drilled before the 1982 moratorium, are not inspected for integrity or seepage. Nor are they necessarily correctly charted."