Offshore oil activity ticks up with increased prices and reduced regulations
The top U.S. offshore safety official said Wednesday that a recent rise in drilling activity in the Gulf of Mexico was in part the result of a "renewal of optimism" following the Trump administration's push to roll back regulation.This is another example of how Obama era policies killed jobs and hurt US energy production. Trump's goal of making the US energy production dominant worldwide further reduces the influence of OPEC on business decisions. To some extent, the offshore energy sector has been operating in the shadows of a vigorous shale sector in West and South Texas.
"This administration is very clear on offshore [oil and gas] being a prominent part of America's energy portfolio, and that impacts companies' desire to invest," Scott Angelle, director of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, said in an interview. "At the same energy prices have helped their spirits."
There were 46 drilling rigs operating in the Gulf of Mexico as of May 14, a level last seen in May 2016, according to BSEE. And over the first four months of this year, 35 deepwater drilling permits were issued, almost double the tally from a year ago.
That is in large part driven to a rise in oil prices, with West Texas Intermediate now trading at more than $70 a barrel, its highest level since 2014.