The Wall Street Journal reports: “The global oil industry, far from chastened by the catastrophic spill in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, is planning record spending next year, including a large amount for deep-water development. … Barclays estimates spending on new wells, producing platforms and other energy infrastructure will total $490 billion next year, up 11% from 2010. The figure is based on a survey of 402 companies. In part, the planned spending increases reflect the higher costs for finding and extracting oil in harder-to-access areas.”
And where are these investment dollars going? More WSJ:
Chevron, which announced a 29% increase in spending earlier this month, cited a desire to develop several large, offshore projects in Western Australia, the South China Sea … Rio de Janeiro-based Petroleo Brasiliero SA is expected to budget $28.2 billion for capital costs, the most of any company, according to Barclays. The lion’s share is slated for development of its recently discovered deep-water oil fields off Brazil’s Atlantic coast.
Twenty five new deep-water rigs came out of shipyards this year– and another 35 are expected in 2011. A moratorium stopped deep-water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico for five months and new drilling is still slow to get approved. But activity in other parts of the globe continues largely unabated.
So while the Obama administration has slowed energy development in the Gulf of Mexico to a crawl, and banned all energy development in the eastern Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, the rest of the world is developing their natural resources at a break neck pace.
This is the worst of both worlds for the American consumer. Energy markets are global, so as developing nations drive up the price of energy worldwide, American consumers will suffer. Meanwhile, America’s energy industry will not be able to benefit from those rising prices because of big government regulations prevent them from developing our natural resources. Higher prices, less investment, fewer jobs, higher unemployment: that is the Obama energy policy.