Noble Corporation Forecasts Manageable Cost for Retrofitting Gulf Rigs

Noble Corporation predicts that additional capital expenditures necessary to comply with new regulations for drilling in the Gulf of Mexico should not exceed $10 million per rig. In the company’s second quarter 10-Q report filed with the SEC yesterday, management indicates that the exact amount required for rig retrofits cannot be precisely determined pending the release of final regulations. The amount required for each rig is expected to vary based on its age. It is also possible that Noble may incur similar costs for certain rigs that are presently located outside the Gulf of Mexico. Read this article for more details.

Oil Industry Plans Disaster Response System for Future Spills

The Wall Street journal has reported that Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell, and ConocoPhillips are planning to announce the formation of a joint venture to design, build, and operate a rapid response system to address the impact of a future oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The move by the oil majors is an attempt to structure a private sector plan that will mitigate concerns regarding lax safety standards that may have contributed to the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

Confusion Reigns Over Shallow Water Drilling Policy

Confusion Reigns Over Shallow Water Drilling Policy

Early this afternoon, the Washington Post reported that the Minerals Management Service had rescinded five shallow water permits through emails indicating that all drilling permits would not be approved regardless of water depth. Soon after the story broke, the Interior Department released a statement saying that the policy of allowing shallow water drilling would continue as long as oil and gas companies satisfy environmental and safety requirements. The Post has now published a recap of today’s events. The question on many minds this evening is whether the confusion is a sign of internal debate within the government regarding the possibility of halting all drilling regardless of water depth. Read this article for more details.

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