Another view on seismic testing off the Delaware coast


Good afternoon,

Garland Thompson offered the following on the points made in this week’s column on the Trump Administration’s decision to allow seismic tests off the Coast of Delaware.

The same seismic technologies used to find offshore oil are required to find good locations for offshore wind towers. Can’t be evil for one use but great for the other.

1. Imports are not better than drilling our own resources, first because dependence on imports puts Americans in the thrall of regimes inimical to everything America is about. Second, it is impossible to quickly start pumping from offshore resources for which none of the required precatory exploration has been done. So, in your case in which national security required startup, actual production would be years away. Did you forget the vast dislocations resulting from OPEC’s boycotts in the mid-1970s?

2. If it really is true there are only marginal chances of finding hydrocarbons in the Baltimore Canyon, there really is no reason to fear a seismic study. The greater likelihood, however, is that modern three-dimensional imaging and the kind of analytical tools now extant in geophysical circles will uncover what the late-1980s exploration attempts could not: commercially recoverable amounts of hydrocarbons.

3. I don’t work in the oil industry, but I’ve followed the reports of big finds in the Atlantic Basin “pre-salt” areas offshorefrom Brazil, and the newer finds offshore Guyana and Trinidad. Closer to home, Statoil’s discoveries offshore Newfoundland and Nova Scotia point to similar possibilities here.

4. And finally, do note Cuba’s government is about to auction off exploration & drilling leases in its own offshore areas. Not far from those Florida shores you mentioned, but wholly outside the control of U.S. authorities. If the Cubans do find big quantities of oil and gas, Katy bar the door here!

The points made above and in my original column didnot delve into any possible environmental issues involving marine life, and consumption dropping as fuel efficiency standards improve and more electric vehicles hit the road. It should be noted that the oil industry says fears of damage to marine life are not justified.

Agree or disagree? Let me know. Simply hit return on this email and type away. As noted earlier, all responses go directly to me, not an unmonitored mailbox.

Enjoy the cheap gas while it lasts. This newsletter returns tomorrow – Doug Rainey, publisher.

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