Sea Technology

APR 2017

The industry's recognized authority for design, engineering and application of equipment and services in the global ocean community

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www.sea-technology.com April 2017 / st 19 A fter suffering through an extended market downturn, an unprecedented regulatory onslaught, and the re- moval of more offshore areas from leasing consideration, the offshore energy industry is more than ready for an emo- tional and economic boost. The good news is that com- modity prices appear to have turned the corner and most prognosticators see a gradual rise in prices throughout 2017, which could be further aided by OPEC's announced plans for a production cutback. The other vital ingredi- ent for a successful industry turnaround will be regulatory relief, and the Trump Administration could help provide it. The offshore energy industry welcomes smart and effec- tive regulation, but many of the recent rules and guidance appear to have marginal, if any, safety and environmental benefits and, thus, needlessly add significant operational costs. The resulting increased cost of doing business pre- vents companies from growing and investing in exploration, delaying our nation's energy and economic turnaround. As the commodity market slowly recovers, true regulatory re- lief will provide an opportunity for greater efficiency and the ability to produce vital energy sources at lower costs. With Republicans controlling the Senate and the House, Congress is already using the Congressional Review Act (CRA) in attempts to roll back some of the 11th hour Obama regulations, and President Donald Trump is also wasting no time in his attempts to reform the regulatory process and rollback overly restrictive regulations. But even with a Republican-controlled Congress and White House, the cur- tailment of existing rules should be targeted like a rifle shot rather than a shotgun blast. Among the rules the Trump Administration should target is the Air Quality Rule (AQR) concerning emissions from off- shore facilities. The AQR does much more than just update air quality standards, as claimed. The rule is based heavily on the assumption that offshore activities have a significant impact on onshore air; however, it is difficult to imagine that an offshore industry that has barely limped along for the last two years could possibly have a significant onshore 2017 Could Be a Great Year For Offshore Energy and America New Administration Could Make Moves to Support Industry By Randall Luthi (Photo Credit: BOEM) The Discoverer Enterprise, a deepwater dou- ble-hulled dynamically positioned drillship owned and operated by Transocean.

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