Craddick: Expanding Offshore Energy Exploration Critical to Texas, U.S. Energy Security

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AUSTIN – Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick today urged the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to include all 26 Outer Continental Shelf planning areas in the development of a new five-year National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program (National OCS Program) for 2019-2024.

“U.S. federal waters contain approximately 148 billion barrels of oil equivalent in undiscovered resources, which is enough energy to meet the nation’s oil and natural gas needs for more than a decade,” Craddick said in a letter to BOEM. “By expanding access in the Gulf of Mexico, Texas and the Gulf States will continue to supply Americans with reliable, U.S. crude oil, petroleum products and natural gas. This means Texas businesses and families spend less on energy and more on goods, services, and investments that are vital to maintaining and enhancing our economy and standard of living.

“In FY 2014, offshore oil and gas activity in the Gulf of Mexico generated over $64 billion in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and over 650,000 jobs, including 193,000 jobs and over $20 billion in GDP for Texas, greatly benefitting the Texas economy,” Craddick said.

Quest Offshore Resources, estimates an increase in Gulf of Mexico offshore oil and gas activity could support more than 62,000 jobs and over $5 billion in annual GDP for Texas alone.

“One of the great benefits of the shale revolution has been our ability to reduce our reliance on foreign sources of energy, enabling us to export our vast resources to allies overseas,” Craddick said. “Indeed, energy policy is foreign policy, and expanded access to American energy is good for American interests.”

Chairman Craddick’s letter is in response to BOEM’s request for comments on the preparation of a new National OCS Program, and can be read in full here. Upon completion, the National OCS Program for 2019-2024 will replace the National OCS Program for 2017-2022, which was approved on Jan. 17, 2017, and will succeed the National OCS Program for 2012-2017 on July 1, 2017.