BSEE director: Deepwater Gulf of Mexico is key to energy dominance


HOUSTON -- Oil and gas production from deepwater projects play a significant role in the Nation's energy program. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement Director Scott Angelle stressed the substantial contribution from deep water and how future exploration and development will be critical to the achievement of energy dominance to industry members attending conferences in Texas Wednesday and Thursday. Angelle provided remarks at the Deepwater Operations Conference in Galveston, Texas. and the International Association of Drilling Contractors Annual General Meeting in Austin, Texas.

"The offshore oil and gas industry has demonstrated that when faced with challenges in deep water, whether market-based or technology, it continues to innovate and accelerate," explained Angelle. 

David Paganie, conference director, PennWell, lauded the key note speech at the Deepwater Operations Conference saying, “Director Angelle’s remarks at Deepwater Operations were an encouraging reminder that offshore oil and gas has advocates in Washington that seek to galvanize the industry in this challenging market.” 

Jason McFarland, president, International Association of Drilling Contractors, echoed those sentiments saying, “Director Angelle’s message of embracing domestic energy production while maintaining a strong focus on safety really resonated with IADC members during our Annual General Meeting, and we are thankful to him for taking the time to share BSEE’s agenda. His commitment and enthusiasm for the work that is being done at BSEE is clear, and contagious, and the drilling industry looks forward to working with him and his team on common-sense industry regulation throughout his tenure at the agency."

In 2016, 82% of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico oil production came from deepwater wells located in water depths greater than 1,000 ft. In 1999, deepwater oil production accounted for only 50% of total Gulf of Mexico production.

On Tuesday Angelle spent the day in Houston discussing current and future Gulf of Mexico activity in meetings with oil and gas operators and drilling contractors, including Enterprise Offshore Drilling, Murphy Oil Corporation, EnVen Energy Ventures, and Petrobras America Inc. He visited BSEE's Lake Jackson District office and Houston Engineering Technology Assessment Center Wednesday where he met with staff to discuss inspection activity and on-going projects.

"As we have been investing in the GOM, we are encouraged by the willingness of the new administration to work with industry,” said Joao Carlos Araujo Figueira, president director, Petrobras America Inc.

In meetings Tuesday with industry Angelle discussed deepwater activity and future plans for investment. "In working toward President Trump's and Secretary Zinke's goal of energy dominance, industry will need to continue to meet the challenges of deepwater development," Angelle said. "BSEE must work to ensure that the Outer Continental Shelf is attractive for investment and that all operations are conducted safely and are environmentally sustainable."

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