IAGC Criticizes Interior’s Exclusion of the Atlantic from the 5-Year Oil and Gas Leasing Plan

The International Association of Geophysical Contractors has issued the following statement on the Government’s decision not to include the U.S. Atlantic in the Government’s 5-year oil and gas leasing plan:

“Today’s announcement from the Administration that it would not include the US Atlantic in the 5-Year- Oil and Gas Leasing Program is unfortunate, not only for the oil and gas industry but more importantly for the American people.
The United States is virtually the only nation that is not exploring the resource potential of the Atlantic. The decision is short-sighted and does not take into account the energy needs of a growing economy and ensuring the energy security of this nation for future generations. In addition, it calls into question the Administration’s commitment to support a true ‘all-of-the-above’ approach to energy security.

Today’s announcement, coupled with the continued delay in authorizing seismic surveys of the Atlantic represents yet another missed opportunity for the Administration to make informed decisions about America’s resource development. It’s been nearly two years since BOEM’s announcement to consider authorization of permitting geophysical activities on the Atlantic OCS and still no permits have been issued despite coastal states approving these activities as consistent with their state coastal resources such as fishing and tourism. Had the Administration moved forward – granting the authorizations to acquire new seismic data – they would have data that would better define the resource potential on the Atlantic OCS.

The Administration overlooked how the industry and other ocean stakeholders coexist in the Gulf of Mexico – allowing commercial and recreational fishing, tourism and oil and gas exploration to flourish. Current market dynamics and limited infrastructure are not valid reasons to exclude the Atlantic when the proposed sale is not until 2021. They have also discounted the opinions of those within Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia – Governors, Senators, Congressmen, State Legislators, the majority of those states’ populations – who support offshore exploration.

It is troubling that by catering to environmental special interests the Administration has further foreclosed this opportunity by excluding the Atlantic from consideration until after 2022 without regard to its mandate under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act for the expeditious and orderly development of America’s offshore resources.”

IAGC is the international trade association representing the industry that provides geophysical services (geophysical data acquisition, seismic data ownership and licensing, geophysical data processing and interpretation, and associated service and product providers) to the oil and gas industry.”

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