Early End to Moratorium Won’t Stop Drilling Delays

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010 at 9:36 am

While President Obama may choose to end the six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling a month early, it doesn’t look like we’ll see any new drilling until 2011, Bloomberg reports:

Obama is likely to lift the drilling ban in October, ahead of its scheduled Nov. 30 expiration, said Michael McKenna, president of MWR Strategies, an oil industry consulting firm in Washington. Heightened scrutiny of drilling’s risks may delay the resumption of operations by companies such as BP Plc and Apache Corp. until mid-2011, McKenna said. [...]

“Lifting the moratorium is almost unimportant,” McKenna said in an interview. “It’s how different the regulatory regime is going to be after. The end game here is to make it a very, very difficult and time-consuming regulatory process.

The oil industry has long argued that new industry oversight would delay future drilling, and the Bloomberg story is certain to get their attention.

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