Monday, October 25, 2010

BP (NYSE:BP), Chevron (NYSE:CVX), Transocean (NYSE:RIG), Exxon (NYSE:XOM), Conoco (NYSE:COP), Shell (NYSE:RDS-A), Diamond (NYSE:DO), Hercules (Nasdaq:HERO) Have 100s of Wells Waiting for Approval in Gulf

Although BOEMRE director Michael Bromwich has said ther are only 10 new wells waiting for permits in the Gulf of Mexico, companies like BP (NYSE:BP), Chevron (NYSE:CVX), Transocean (NYSE:RIG), Exxon (NYSE:XOM), Conoco (NYSE:COP), Shell (NYSE:RDS-A), Diamond (NYSE:DO) and Hercules (Nasdaq:HERO) in fact have hundreds of wells waiting to be approved.

The disingenuous figures put forth by Bromwich are so small because hundreds of wells haven't been approved to enter into the permitting process.

There are 69 exploration and development plans are backlogged, just sitting there awaiting action, with each one including three to five wells, according to senior vice president and general counsel of Hercules, James W. Noe. And that was as of August 17. Since then no figures have been released, suggesting far more waiting to have decisions made.

Since the moratorium was lifted on October 12, there have only been six permits approved by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and

Enforcement, and those were only in shallow-water areas, not the deepwater sections which allegedly have had the moratorium lifted.

I say allegedly because the regulations and permits are effectively having the same results as if a moratorium were still in place for deepwater drilling.

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