The Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce hosted an energy briefing on November 10 with the Consumer Energy Alliance.
The first presentation was made by Mr. Gary Steffens, Senior Geological and Regional Manager for Upstream Exploration, Shell.
Mr. Steffens pointed out that both the federal government and the private sector believe there is great potential off the Atlantic Coast-an opportunity for jobs and revenue. The industry understands that this development needs to be done safely or not at all. He indicated that now is the time to focus on this long term proposition and that we are 10-15 years away at a minimum.
Energy demands are expected to rise by 40-80% in the years to come (9.3 billion barrels a year by 2050). The world currently uses 280 million barrels per day in 2015 and that will rise to 400 million per day by 2050.
The challenge is that most experts see that renewable energies long storage capacity is 30-40 years away.
Currently the Department of Interior regulates the nation’s off-shore energy plan. 87% of federal waters are not accessible for offshore energy exploration. There is no exploration allowed within 50 miles of our shoreline. There are 8 to 9 billion barrels of oil estimated in the mid-Atlantic area based on 30 plus year old data. This amount of oil would generate between 100,000 to 200,000 jobs and $100 to $200 billion in government revenues. 2032-2035 is the projected date of first production.
Regarding safety it was noted that since 2010; 60 government regulatory and technical advancements have been put in place. A capping system can now be employed. The prevention side has been strengthened with 24-7 monitoring. All employees have “stop work” authority.
The next speaker was Bob Montgomery of the International Association of Geophysical Contractors.
Mr. Montgomery highlighted the process of seismic surveys and communicated the purpose as securing accurate images to reduce risk and ultimately require fewer wells.
Mr. Montgomery indicated that one well in deep water cost between 150 to 200 million dollars. The process of imaging utilized today involves sound waves. If marine mammals are within 1/3 of a mile of the testing, the process is shut down.
There is an upcoming public comment period beginning in March regarding the seismic surveys proposed on the east coast of the U.S.
A number of additional facts were offered regarding the development of offshore energy:
- 25,000 jobs
- $2.2 Billion increase in G.D.P.
- $1.9 Billion in tax revenues
- $250 Million additional revenue share
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