Increasing offshore capabilities on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) will advance America’s energy dominance, creating jobs and boosting the economy. The recently proposed National OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2019-2024, which would expand leasable acreage by more than 90%, will play a significant role. As a member of API’s nationwide Explore Offshore Coalition, PESA advocates for the program’s safe and environmentally responsible implementation.
As the United States moves toward global energy dominance, offshore oil and gas resources remain a key area of untapped potential. Per the National Outer Continental Shelf Oil (OCS) and Gas Leasing Program for 2017-2022, more than 90% of leasable acreage in the Pacific, Atlantic, Alaska and Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf areas is under a drilling moratorium until 2022. The Department of the Interior recently proposed the National OCS Program for 2019-2024, which will open waters to new development, employing the newest technologies to maximize efficiency and safety.
Currently, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management estimates that the U.S. OCS contains roughly 90 billion barrels of oil and 327 trillion cubic feet of gas, triple the current technically recoverable reserves in the U.S. Not only could such resources provide greater energy security, they could also produce immense economic benefit. Increased development could support as many as 425,000 jobs in coastal areas, boost investment in local communities, improve infrastructure and create $36 billion annually in government revenue.
As part of API’s Explore Offshore Coalition, PESA supports the expansion of exploration and leasing in the Outer Continental Shelf. This goal will be best achieved by engaging citizens and promoting cooperative solutions that include stakeholder input. With the proper forethought, offshore expansion can be navigated in a safe and environmentally conscious way, reaping net benefits for the nation.