President Donald J. Trump has signed The America-First Offshore Energy Strategy, an executive order to examine new opportunities for domestic energy production and remove barriers to development that were imposed by the Obama administration.

The executive order directs Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to review the 2017-2022 outer continental shelf oil and gas leasing program, the permitting process for development and seismic research, and offshore regulations, including the NTL on financial assurance, the well control rule, the proposed Offshore Air Rule, and Arctic drilling requirements.

The order also directs Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross to review all designations and expansions of marine monuments or sanctuaries designated under the Antiquities Act within the last 10 years. It also prevents Secretary Ross from designating any new marine monuments and sanctuaries or expanding existing ones. 

Many industry associations welcomed the Trump administration’s executive action to advance domestic energy production.

API President and CEO Jack Gerard said: “We are pleased to see this administration prioritizing responsible US energy development and recognizing the benefits it will bring to American consumers and businesses. Developing our abundant offshore energy resources is a critical part of a robust, forward-looking energy policy that will secure our nation’s energy future and strengthen the US energy renaissance.

“We must particularly look to and embrace the future development of domestic sources of oil and natural gas in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico. Exploration in this area is critical to our national security, and we continue to see our neighbors in Mexico and Cuba pursue these opportunities.

“The Eastern Gulf is in close proximity to existing production and infrastructure, and opening it would most quickly spur investment and economic activity, which could create thousands of jobs and provide billions of dollars in government revenue.”

NOIA President Randall Luthi said: “It’s a new day and a new attitude for American energy. The National Ocean Industries Association applauds President Donald Trump’s executive order recognizing the vital role of offshore energy in an overall national energy policy…

“For years, we have sought a comprehensive US energy policy. However, in reality, our nation’s energy policy has been a cobbled-together raft, drifting with the prevailing political winds and currents of the ‘favored’ energy source of the day. This executive order can be used to craft a long-term, consistent energy blueprint to provide jobs, state and federal revenue, and economic and energy security for America. 

“The rescission of the previous administration’s withdrawal of vast offshore areas favors continued public discussion over unilateral decree. With a whopping 94% of our outer continental shelf currently locked away from oil and gas development, a thorough review of the regulatory framework governing our offshore energy resources is warranted and logical.

“NOIA hopes the review will prompt the Trump administration to begin work on an expedited leasing program that actually increases offshore access and revives efforts to safely conduct modern seismic surveys in the Atlantic.”

Consumer Energy Alliance President David Holt added: “By considering new opportunities to develop America’s abundant offshore energy resources, today’s action will help cement American energy security for decades to come. This will also drive economic growth and job opportunities in communities across the country and reduce our dependence on energy from countries, which lack the strong safety and environmental safeguards that we have here at home.”

Source: Offshore Mag -