Shallow Water Drillers Raise Concerns About Moratorium

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Monday, August 23, 2010 at 3:57 pm

Opponents of President Obama deepwater drilling moratorium have pounced on a story published Saturday in The Wall Street Journal saying that administration officials estimated that the drilling ban could result in the loss of 23,000 jobs.

And now, shallow water drillers are arguing that the moratorium will affect their industry, too. A statement from the Shallow Water Energy Security Coalition — a group of companies that “provide shallow-water offshore contract drilling and related services,” according to its web site — says the moratorium will delay all drilling operations, threatening jobs in shallow water drilling.

Randy Stilley, president and CEO of coalition member Seahawk Drilling, says:

Over 40,000 workers are directly employed in jobs related to shallow-water drilling, an industry that the Secretary of the Interior has repeatedly acknowledged is less risky than deep water drilling. And although Administration officials stand by their claim that there is no official moratorium on shallow water operations, the Interior Department’s continuing delay in processing and approving shallow water permits has industry officials, politicians, and academics scratching their heads.

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