New Ban on Deepwater Drilling Issued

Mike Schuler
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July 12, 2010

The U.S. Department of Interior today has issued yet another moratorium on deepwater drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), saying that the suspension is nesessary to ensure adequate safety measures are in place to reduce the risk of future blowouts.  The suspension does not include shallow water drilling activities.  A press release issued by the U.S. Deptartment of Interior states:

In a decision memorandum to BOEM Director Michael R. Bromwich, Salazar said that a temporary pause on deepwater drilling will provide time to implement recent safety reforms and for:

1. The submission of evidence by operators demonstrating that they have the ability to respond effectively to a potential oil spill in the Gulf, given the unprecedented commitment of available oil spill response resources that are now being dedicated to the BP oil spill;

2. The assessment of wild well intervention and blowout containment resources to determine the strategies and methods by which they can be made more readily available should another blowout occur; and

3. The collection and analysis of key evidence regarding the potential causes of the April 20, 2010 explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig, including information collected by the Presidential Commission and other investigations.

In this period, the Department and BOEM will also be issuing and implementing interim safety rules in accordance with recommendations in the 30-Day Safety Report that Secretary Salazar submitted to the President on May 27, 2010.  Keep Reading

The suspensions ordered today will last until November 30, 2010.  How will this ban effect you?  Let us know in the comments.

Secretary Salazar’s decision memorandum on the new deepwater drilling suspensions is available here.

To view a Q and A document regarding the suspension decision, click here.

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