Posting in Energy
Deepwater oil exploration in the Gulf of Mexico came to screeching halt two years ago in the wake of the BP oil disaster. Today, rig counts have not only recovered, they're poised to hit a new record.
Deepwater oil exploration in the Gulf of Mexico came to screeching halt two years ago in the wake of the BP oil disaster and the offshore drilling moratorium that followed. Today, it appears offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico is poised for a revival.
The number of offshore rigs in the Gulf is approaching a pre-oil spill level and is expected to grow another 50 percent by 2014, according to a Barclays Equity Research note first reported by the Houston Chronicle's EnergyWatch blog.
There are 29 active rigs in the Gulf, just below the pre-spill numbers. Barclays projects another 45 to 50 rigs could be active in the Gulf by 2014.
"We believe it is game on (again) in the Gulf of Mexico for the offshore drillers and supply vessel companies," Barclays wrote.
The evidence suggests Barclay's projection is on track. Eleven rigs have been contracted for the upcoming year and there are another 39 uncontracted new builds under construction, Houston Chronicle reported.
Rental rates for rigs also are on the rise. Earlier this month, Transocean announced it had landed a $595,000-per-day contract for one its ultra-deepwater rigs. The per day price of the contract -- which is 32 percent higher than its previous rate -- provides another sign of the increasing demand in the area.
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Jul 30, 2012
These leases were part of a 5 year plan announced last fall by the Obama administration (which didn't please people on either side of the issue). They are in the outer continental shelf, and are shallow water leases. Unlike the deep water BP rig which spilled oil, a shallow water oil rig is a lot easier to drill and to control in case of a leak.
I hope the environmental impact plans are being properly reviewed. My fear is that there is some election year project fast tracking going on at local, state and federal levels. I would hate to see the area vulnerable to another accident for the sake of a campaign talking point and a few votes.
I agree with you on that. We are currently in the "Silly season" when the news focuses on light weight stories because of summer vacations and less interest in news. Minor scandals become huge during silly season and tends to set the tone for the beginning of the final slog into the elections.
HI, you started out so well then your cynicism takes over and you descend into politics. Given that fossil fuel interests are spending something like $500,000/day on lobbying in DC do you think that any politician on either side can really resist that entirely?
Both sides are owned by people other than the average voter. That is why I said local and state governments may be in on fast tracking as well. There are local politics from both sides and at all levels that may be at play with these matters as well.
I heard on the news today that $500,000 in contributions were made to a political campaign for an Oklahoma City councilman's seat for a job that pays $12,000/year. Money distorts our political system so badly that it has become a travesty. If I could I would limit political contributions to only people who can vote for you and ban independent expenditures entirely.