In Drilling, Timing is Everything

Chalk this one up to good timing. Employees from the Apache Mariner, the rig that exploded today, were laying into President Obama yesterday about his deepwater drilling moratorium. Will we ever learn the lessons of low-regulatory policy?

From the blog Think Progress, quoting a piece from the Financial Times:

Companies ranging from Chevron to Apache bussed in up to 5,000 employees to the Houston convention centre to underline to Washington the industry’s contribution to the country. […]

“I have been in the oil and gas industry for 40 years, and this administration is trying to break us,” said Barbara Dianne Hagood, senior landman for Mariner Energy, a small company. “The moratorium they imposed is going to be a financial disaster for the gulf coast, gulf coast employees and gulf coast residents.”

While the well, owned by Mariner Energy Inc., was too shallow to be affected by any drilling moratorium, TP goes on to cite a report in The Washington Post that references a recent SEC filing that was critical of any anticipated, increased drilling regulations.

The company said the Interior Department’s moratorium on deep-water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico had affected Mariner’s operations. It said its operations “may be impacted in the future by increased regulatory oversight, which may increase the cost of” Outer Continental Shelf wells “and delay drilling and production therefrom.”

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