Producing oil and natural gas safely and responsibly in the Arctic will strengthen America’s economy and national security, the American Petroleum Institute (API) said in comments to proposed regulations for operations offshore Alaska.
“Producing more energy here at home creates new job opportunities and makes us more secure,” said API Director of Upstream and Industry Operations Erik Milito. “As President Obama has said, getting oil and natural gas from the Arctic will limit our reliance on places without America’s strong safety and environmental practices. Arctic oil and natural gas can be a game changer for American energy security for the long term if the regulations are reasonable and grounded in science.”
API’s comments emphasize the need for safety regulations to prioritize accident prevention and provide incident responders the flexibility to use whichever tools will be most effective in any particular situation. When seeking to regain control of a subsea well, capping stacks and seabed isolation devices can achieve the same goal as a relief well in less time and at a lower cost. API encouraged regulators to allow these technologies as alternatives to the requirement that a second drilling rig be on hand to drill a same season relief well.
“Decades of experience in the Arctic show we have the technology and expertise to safely and responsibly develop oil and natural gas in the region,” said Milito. “We must not sit idle while other nations move ahead.”
API has also quoted a report by the National Petroleum Council, according to which the United States must commit to exploration in the offshore Alaskan Arctic now if it is to remain globally competitive and positioned to provide global leadership and influence in the Arctic.