Saturday, June 26, 2010

With oil company holdings, drilling moratorium overturned by judge

A federal judge overturned the six-month deep water drilling moratorium within the Gulf of Mexico. The ruling issued Tuesday cited economic hardship due to the ban and explained the government overreached by suspending all deep-water drilling operations planned in the gulf. The ruling was hailed by oil companies. The Department of Justice said they would appeal the decision. Meanwhile, as the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico 2010 gushed, about 106 million gallons of crude and counting have spilled into the sea.

Source for this article: Drilling moratorium overturned by judge with oil company holdings

Drilling moratorium judge invested in oil

The drilling moratorium was overturned by the Judge named Martin L.C. Feldman after a group of oil rig service companies filed a complaint. According to ABC News, recent disclosure documents indicate that Feldman, who was appointed to the bench by Ronald Reagan, has had financial holdings in oil companies. Feldman said the Interior Department acted “arbitrarily and capriciously” when it issued a six-month moratorium on drilling new deep-water wells in the Gulf of Mexico and Pacific Ocean. Feldman given a preliminary injunction to Hornbeck Offshore Services to lift the drilling moratorium, saying that he believed the government “failed to cogently reflect the decision to issue a blanket, generic, indeed punitive, moratorium.”

Uncertain about a lot more deep-water drilling

The moratorium was imposed to give a presidential panel time to come up with recommendations on how to keep away from a repeat of the BP oil spill disaster. The Los Angeles Times reports that it remains uncertain whether the Interior Department would have to begin issuing new permits to drill. With an appeal virtually certain to have come from the Obama administration, some analysts are doubting that oil companies would want to start a major deep-water drilling operation in the Gulf of Mexico with the possibility it may have to shut down if the appeal succeeds.

Oil companies spin drilling moratorium

On today's ruling, the American Petroleum Institute explained in a written statement, “The moratorium was an initial reaction to concerns about the safety of offshore oil and natural gas operations. Nevertheless, an extended moratorium would have a tremendous impact on the nation’s energy security – and cause significant harm to the region of the country that was already suffering from the spill – without raising safety or improving industry procedures.”

BP oil spill has a containment failure

Meanwhile, within the gulf, CNN reports that government estimates indicate as much as 60,000 barrels (2.5 million gallons) of oil may be flowing into the Gulf each day, and also the gusher has already taken a significant toll on tourism and the fishing industry in Gulf Coast states. On Tuesday BP announced it had succeeded in collecting less than half of the estimated daily output: 25,830 barrels (1.08 million gallons) of oil over the past 24 hours. The amount is the most ever collected; the previous record was set June 18 when 25,290 barrels were collected. BP said it will donate net revenues it receives from the sale of oil recovered from the spill to help the National Fish and Wildlife Federation deal with the oil it won’t be collecting from the oil spill within the Gulf of Mexico 2010.

A lot more details on this topic
ABC News

Los Angeles times,,7804590.story


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