IPAA urges Department of the Interior to continue offshore leasing for oil, gas production

Published on October 11, 2022 by Dave Kovaleski

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The Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) reached out to the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) to stress the importance of continuing offshore leasing to help the United States remain in control of its own energy future.

The comments came in response to the Department of Interior’s 2023-2028 “Proposed Program” for the Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program (National OCS Program).

IPAA points out that for the first time since issuing programs were required in the early 1980s, the DOI’s proposal leaves open the possibility of scheduling no offshore oil and natural gas lease sales over the next five years. This comes at a time when the United States is dealing with the repercussions of dependence on foreign oil. Producing it domestically through resources, including offshore oil and natural gas, would help mitigate that concern, they said.

IPAA officials stated that offshore production accounted for 15 percent of U.S. oil production and 2 percent of U.S. gas production in 2021.  They cite a study that projects precluding lease sales until 2028 would result in a 33 percent decrease – 885,000 fewer barrels per day – in offshore oil and natural gas production by 2036.

“While the Biden Administration has intently focused on addressing climate concerns and expressed its intention to make oil and natural gas obsolete, independent analysis from the Energy Information Administration has shown that oil and natural gas will be necessary to meet America’s energy needs for the foreseeable future. When we accept that reality, the question becomes whether we want to strengthen our energy security and maintain our role as a global energy leader by producing that oil and natural gas here in America or become reliant on foreign nations,” IPAA officials said in their comment letter.

They added that continued American offshore exploration, development, and production would provide greater economic and energy security for U.S. companies, workers, and consumers.

“The Biden Administration is in the unique position to be the first in recent history, either Republican or Democrat, to reject the need and benefit of a strong domestic energy sector through continued offshore leasing and development. The United States must remain in control of our own energy future by maximizing our domestic energy production potential. It is incumbent that the 2023-2028 Final National OCS Program includes the 10 proposed Gulf of Mexico lease sales and the lease sale proposed for the Cook Inlet in Alaska,” IPAA officials said.