At his new home, maritime reporter Joe Keefe looks at BP as it responds to the recent incident in the Gulf Of Mexico. In the section of the article titled “Game Changer” he writes on the implications this incident will have on the future of offshore industry:
The catch phrase “game changer” gets used all too much. In this case, however, it is also the best way to describe the fallout from what will be one of the defining events of this very young decade. The net effect of the explosion, fire and tragic loss of life on the Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit Deepwater Horizon will be staggering, but in general terms, can be packaged (in no particular order) into four neat categories:
First, the regulatory environment under which these massive offshore structures will operate will change forever. Ask any tanker mate or captain who was at sea in 1990 and is still sailing today as to the downstream ramifications of the EXXON VALDEZ disaster. I can’t tell you what will happen; only that it will involve codifying a whole new set of rules and regulations, based on the exhaustive findings of the investigators.
Next, the political climate which had been slowly inching towards allowing more and more domestic exploration will, at least for a time, stall. Even President Obama, who – much to the chagrin of his most leftwing supporters – had been pragmatic in trying to secure more domestic energy before the whole system bankrupted us, has been forced to back off. The battles over future energy exploration will therefore only be that much fiercer.
The price of everything, from petroleum to plastics and all the way to fresh seafood, is probably about to go through the roof. Count on it.
Finally, the net effect on the environment is as yet unknown, but with 5,000 barrels per day supposedly spewing into the U.S. Gulf and the Coast Guard predicting that it could take upwards of 90 days to cap the source, the outlook is decidedly grim in that respect.
Click HERE to read the full article and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments.