BP Disaster Strands Billions of Barrels of Crude
According to a May 13 report from Bloomberg, a regulatory crackdown on offshore oil drilling after the fatal rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico will delay development of U.S. deposits with billions of barrels of crude and may spawn industry job cuts. BP Plc, ConocoPhillips (COP), Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Cobalt International Energy Inc. and Plains Exploration & Production Co. are among explorers with projects on hold in the Gulf or coastal California after the April 20 explosion prompted federal and state officials to halt new drilling. An estimated 7,500 jobs on offshore drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico may be lost if the ban on new well permits continues through July 1, Lee Hunt, President of the International Association of Drilling Contractors in Houston, told Bloomberg. Another 7,500 jobs may be lost in support industries such as caterers, pipe yards and communication companies, he said.