Governors of six coastal states call for expansion of offshore drilling

State officials have called on the Obama Administration to help them expand oil production.

On Monday, a group of governors representing six coastal states called for the Obama Administration to make it easier for oil and gas companies to initiate new offshore drilling projects.

The officials were speaking in Houston at the Offshore Technology Conference. In addition to Texas' Rick Perry, the governors of North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi and Alaska also addressed attendees at the event. State officials from Louisiana and Virginia also spoke before the group.

One of their primary points of complaint was the Obama Administration's decision to implement a moratorium on new offshore drilling projects in the wake of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Although that prohibition has since been lifted, proponents of expanded offshore drilling claim that the new permitting requirements that were put in place in the meantime have made it unnecessarily difficult to develop new offshore wells.

The state officials who spoke on Monday argued that an expansion of offshore drilling would strengthen their states' economies by creating jobs and bringing paychecks into local communities. Furthermore, they asserted that by lowering the cost of producing fuel and electricity, opening up new sources of oil and gas would benefit the entire country by providing U.S. businesses with a competitive advantage over their peers abroad.

Although the Obama Administration has been reluctant to open up new offshore areas to drilling, onshore production has continued to grow, aided by advances in oil production technology. The hydraulic jet pump has been a particularly useful solution, as it can be used to improve recovery rates at new or established wells, even in situations where problems with the casing preclude the use of other artificial lift solutions.