Offshore Matters Likely to Continue Facing Legal Challenges
Since the Deepwater Horizon disaster, which took the lives of eleven oil personnel and caused the biggest oil spill in history, the Obama administration has been taking steps to implement safety and environmental measures when it comes to offshore drilling. However, it seemed that every action that the government takes when it comes to offshore drilling has been met with some degree of legal opposition either from oil-and-gas companies, or from various environmental groups
With experts on either side saying that such lawsuits are most likely to continue, industry players are getting concerned about these legal challenges, which can result to difficulties in proceeding with offshore drilling projects. Nevertheless, when it comes to the question of how great an impact the decisions of the courts will have on the reality of drilling, the answer largely remains to be seen. Opinions also vary and almost always depend on which side you ask.
Jim Lucier, who works as an analyst with Capital Alpha Partners, say he anticipates concerned parties involved to pursue “litigating every aspect of the process.” He also said that, “My personal worry is that the Gulf may turn into a legal free-fire zone.”
In the aftermath of the tragic incident involving the Deepwater Horizon last April, the Obama administration issued an executive order, mandating a six-month hiatus to deepwater drilling with depths of 500 feet, in order to improve environmental and safety procedures within the practice. While environmental groups lauded the order of the administration, offshore service companies filed a lawsuit to challenge the ruling.
The order was later thrown out by District Judge Martin Feldman in June for the reason that it was unfair to make other companies suffer for the fiasco committed by BP, the company in charge of Deepwater Horizon.