Ten Oil Rigs Have Exited Gulf Since Obama Moratorium

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“Political uncertainty” bedevils Gulf region and discourages business investment


Ten oil rigs have left the Gulf of Mexico since the Obama Administration imposed a moratorium on deepwater oil and gas drilling in May 2010, according to documentation obtained from Sen. David Vitter’s (R-La.) office.

The ten rigs named in the document are: Marinas, Discover Americas, Ocean Endeavor, Ocean Confidence, Stena Forth, Clyde Bourdeaux, Ensco 8503, Deep Ocean Clarion, Discover Spirit, and Amirante. The rigs have left the Gulf for locations in Egypt, Congo, French Guiana, Liberia, Nigeria and Brazil.

“This highlights the problem we have with losing domestic energy production as a result of the drilling moratorium and the slow permitting,” David Kreutzer, a research fellow in Energy Economics and Climate Change at the Heritage Foundation, said. “We must also keep in mind that the impacts are not instantaneous, the rigs may be idle for a while, but once they move it’s going to be difficult to move them back once they are drilling in say Nigeria or Brazil.  The oil companies must have confidence they can move forward with their drilling plans and to know these plans won’t be revoked. Only certainty will bring them back.”

Although federal officials announced they were lifting the restrictions last October, a “de-facto moratorium” remains in effect that stifles energy production and undermines large and small businesses in the Gulf region, industry officials have argued.

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