Gulf Of Mexico Open For Drilling


Much of the Gulf of Mexico has been off limits for oil drilling for the last 25 years. Congress has protected the area of the continental shelf for its beauty and its necessary role in providing what is essentially an underwater nursery for developing plant and animal life in the region. The current high price of oil and perhaps the threat of foreign companies using directional drilling from the other side of the Gulf, via Havana, has motivated Congress to relax their ban on drilling, allowing four key offshore states sole royalties from the newly allowed offshore leases.

The newly released area of 8.3 million acres in the eastern Gulf of Mexico promises to possess holdings of enough natural gas to heat and cool nearly 6 million American homes for the next 15 years. The move to allow drilling is undeniably motivated by the millions of voting Americans that believe foreign oil dependence to be a problem most easily solved by merely acquiring and exploiting more domestic resources such as these reserves off of Florida’s Coast. Cuba has been making deals with foreign oil companies from as far away as China and India, perceivably giving them permission to drill off the coast of Havana. American companies were given the chance to drill in these Cuban sites, but were of course barred from entering into contracts because of the U.S. continued embargo against doing business with Cuba. It seems that while the U.S. snoozed, other oil hungry nations like China and India, seeing Cuban oil as a viable option of supplying their energy needs, have seized these supplies as their own.

These deals between Cuba and China and India have left some in Congress fuming. Senator Larry Craig, Republican of Idaho, was quoted saying in his best “politically correct” language that, “Red China should not be left to drill for oil within spitting distance of our shores without competition from U.S. industries.” This feeling was obviously shared by many of Craig’s colleagues in Congress as they voted overwhelmingly to open up the Gulf of Mexico’s coastal waters for increased drilling by a margin of 71-25 in 2006.

Oil and natural gas companies like Triple Diamond Energy Corp have enlisted teams of scientists and engineers to help manipulate current technologies while also developing new ones to better explore and extract these new reserves to ensure a continuous energy supply for the future needs of the United States.