The National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) has criticized the US Department of the Interior for the slow pace at which it was developing the next federal offshore oil and gas leasing programme.
The program has been suffering a lengthy delay since the previous programme expired on July 1st 2022, with no replacement plan in place.
According to a legal brief filed by the Department For The Interior on March 6th, the department does not intend to approve a new programne until December 2023.
NOIA president Erik Milito said that “the continued, prolonged, and unprecedented delay of the US offshore oil and gas leasing program is injecting substantial and unnecessary uncertainty into the investment outlook for US energy and national security”.
Milito said that the US offshore region competed with other offshore regions throughout the world for investment in energy-producing projects and that, historically, the US had been able to compete effectively under its statutory and regulatory framework. “However, as certainty and predictability has continued to erode as a result of stifling energy policy decisions out of Washington, investment dollars may begin to flow to other producing regions”, he said.
Milito noted that the Gulf of Mexico served as “a national strategic energy asset, safely producing among the lowest carbon barrels of oil in the world and boosting our national security at a critical time in history. The loss of a stable and regular leasing environment will dim long-term American energy leadership”.