Deepwater Drilling Ban Lifted, Malaise Remains Intact
So the Obama administration has lifted the deepwater drilling moratorium. Unfortunately for the President, it’s going to be too late to regenerate many offshore jobs before election day, but we’ll take it.
Before the Deepwater Horizon disaster there were 33 floating drilling rigs at work in the gulf. Today that’s down to just 6, with half of those doing plugging and abandonment work. Many of the rigs have been sent on long-term contracts (at rates ranging from 225,000 to 400,000 per day) to Brazil and west Africa. It’ll take years for them to come back. The bright side: that’ll give the government and the industry plenty of time to sort out the raft of new regulations and oversight aimed at making sure this kind of thing never happens again.