Here's an interesting news item:
Newhouse A1: "They've lost billions in production and they are spending billions more to repair damaged platforms and pipelines. Yet energy companies find the Gulf of Mexico so lucrative that they are investing even more to tap further into its potential, hurricanes or not.All that hurricane damage to the oil platforms offshore and no environmental damage as a result?
Six months after Hurricane Katrina, Gulf oil production is still down 25 percent and natural gas is down 20 percent. More than 100 platforms were destroyed and almost 200 pipelines were damaged by the storm.
But all indications point to the Gulf of Mexico rebounding from the storm's effects by the end of this year and even surpassing previous production levels.
'The recent tropical weather seasons do not weaken our determination, but rather offer an opportunity to improve our designs, our defenses to some of the harshest conditions nature can deliver, and be stronger for the experience,' said Frank Glaviano, Shell Exploration and Production's vice president of production for the Americas. 'Our assets survived the most severe storms in recorded history and left us with topsides damage that is all repairable.'
Ok, well then what is the hub-ub about this?
The U.S. Senate Energy Committee voted on Wednesday to open nearly 3 million acres of federal waters in the eastern Gulf of Mexico to energy exploration development, bringing the politically contentious issue closer to reality.And what do you want to bet that even though these environmentally safe gas wells are ONE HUNDRED MILES OFFSHORE, you'll find some environmental religionist extremists just itching to oppose them?
The proposal to open to development 2.9 million acres in the Outer Continental Shelf 100 miles off Florida passed 16-5, with one senator voting "present."
"This is the most important piece of energy legislation we have taken up since passing the energy bill last year," Domenici said in a statement, saying supplies from the area "will have a profound effect on gas supply and price."
The area may hold as much as 7.2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, enough to heat nearly 6 million homes for 15 years, Domenici said.