Tuesday, October 23, 2012

House Natural Resource Committee Democrats Report Released: Use it or Lose It: Big Oil Not Using Drilling Leases in the Gulf of Mexico

Yesterday, before the last Presidential debate, the House Natural Resources Committee Democrats released a report titled, Use it or Lose It: Big Oil Not Using Drilling Leases in the Gulf of Mexico (2012).  The eleven-page report available here, discusses "which companies are not using -- and also not losing -- oil drilling leases in offshore areas in the Gulf of Mexico, withholding oil production from the American people while holding onto their taxpayer-owned land."  The major findings of the report include:
  • More than 100 companies currently hold, but are not drilling on, nearly 3,700 drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico comprising an area the size of South Carolina.
  • The top 5 oil companies (BP, ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips and Shell) hold 8 million of those acres, or almost 40 percent of those leases. BP leads the group, holding unused more than 2.5 million acres with no development taking place; Chevron, 1.4 million acres; Exxon, 1.4 million acres; Shell, 1.3 million acres; and Conoco, 1.1 million acres. . .  
[In addition] [a] report released by the Department of Interior in May also underscores the scope of the idle leases issue. The Interior Department report found that more than 70 percent of the tens of millions of offshore acres currently under lease are inactive, neither producing nor currently subject to approved or pending exploration or development plans. Out of nearly 36 million acres leased offshore, only about 10 million acres are active – leaving nearly 72 percent of the offshore leased area idle . . ..

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