The US Department of the Interior (DOI) is believed to be readying a proposal for expanding offshore drilling rights in US waters, notably the Atlantic and Arctic but also even the Pacific, according to Bloomberg.
Any such plan would dovetail with election campaign promises of US President Donald Trump and with his April order encouraging the auctioning of offshore drilling rights.
The proposal will be a big chunk of a proposed Trump five-year plan (2019-2024) for offshore oil and gas leases.
President Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama’s administration had moved in the opposite direction with its March 2016 decision to withdraw lease plans for Atlantic oil rights. That in turn followed a September 2015 decision to cancel planned oil and gas lease sales for US Arctic waters.
The Obama team’s Atlantic decision was itself a reversal as its original proposal was for an east coast offshore drilling programme but that changed after a wave of protests from towns along that shoreline.
This predicted proposal will include possible leases in the east of the US Gulf of Mexico and in Pacific waters.