Obama moratorium shifts oil production jobs from U.S. to Africa

Murphy Oil Corp. and Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc. announced a decision late Monday to suspend their drilling operations in the Gulf of Mexico and relocate to central Africa.

In a news release after the close of market Monday (July 12), Diamond Offshore said it reached an agreement with Murphy to suspend a Gulf of Mexico contract, and has entered into a new multi-well international commitment to relocate the deepwater drilling rig Ocean Confidence to the Republic of Congo.

“As the uncertainty about continued deepwater drilling in the GOM (Gulf of Mexico) persists, we must consider alternatives that allow our deepwater assets to remain employed," Diamond Offshore President and CEO Larry Dickerson said in a news release. "The contract we suspended with Murphy has been restructured into a one-year commitment in the GOM that is expected to recommence when our customer is satisfied that it can obtain the necessary permits and can meet any new regulatory requirements.”

Diamond and Murphy's decision came on the same day that the Obama administration issued a revised moratorium Monday on deepwater offshore to replace an early ban that U.S. courts cited as "overreaching."

Murphy and other oil industry officials have repeatedly warned that the Obama administration's moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico could slow oil and production in the region and shift U.S. jobs overseas.

The first ban was implemented in response to the massive oil spill following the April 20 explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig. London-based BP said recently that it is spending about $100 million a day to clean up the Gulf of Mexico's polluted waters.

Murphy said earlier this summer that it had suspended production in the Deep Blue exploratory well development in the Gulf region until the drilling ban is lifted. The Arkansas oil giant's Gulf of Mexico production is approximately 50 million cubic feet of natural gas and 20,000 barrels of oil per day.

Murphy's new contract with Diamond is a three-well commitment, plus an option for additional work, and includes an obligation for the Murphy to move the rig to and from the Republic of Congo. Diamond said that it's Gulf of Mexico and central Africa drilling pacts with Murphy will add approximately $234 million to the Houston-based driller's bottom line.

The Ocean Confidence is a massive rig that can drill up to 35,000 feet. It was first commissioned in 2001 in a five-year contract with BP.

Ironically, Murphy and Diamond's decision to pull of the Gulf of Mexico, along with the Obama administration's newly-written ban, preempted BP's announcement that it had installed a new tighter-fitting cap on the leaking Deepwater Horizon well.

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The British oil giant said it hopes after testing is completed (today) that oil will stop leaking into the Gulf of Mexico.

"It is expected, although cannot be assured, that no oil will be released to the ocean for the duration of the test," BP said. "This will not however be an indication that flow from the wellbore has been permanently stopped.”

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Thank you, Mr. President

Because of this unintentional accident, jobs are once again being moved overseas. Oil and natural gas is used in much of our daily lives. How many people do you know that do NOT have a vehicle? Or someone who does not use electricity? The vehicle is is able to fun because of fuel, which is derived from oil. Many people may not realize this, but natural gas is sometimes used to produce electricity. If oil and natural gas is not drilled in the United States, where will we get these products? Overseas! And we already import too much! Would we stop flying because of one plane crash? Or stop driving because of a car wreck? NO! So, why stop drilling?

More Jobs leaving the United States

Great! Less jobs, pay MORE for fuels, more importing while we have more than adequate reserves here. And you KNOW other countries CARE ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT! How much more can we/will we take?

Drill baby drill !!!

Why not? The Louisiana fishing industry and those livelihoods are already in ruins. All they have left on the LA gulf is oil-related: drilling, skimming, environmental clean-up and processing.