In late July of 2014, the White House finally approved the start to search for gas and oil deposits in the Atlantic Ocean, something that has been a long time coming. The guidelines allow companies and researchers to utilize seismic searches as a means to find those deposits. This gives the oil industry a nice victory, as they’ve been trying to get these rights for some time now. It will allow companies to gain permits so they can begin searching along the Atlantic coast for new oil and gas deposits.
The companies will be able to search off the coast of Delaware all the way down to Florida using a specialized technique to locate deposits. They use compressed air guns aimed toward the bottom of the ocean. They send pulses down toward the ocean floor, and then return, giving the researchers and idea of the best places to find oil and gas, so they can drill in the right locations. The technique should help to make it much easier to pinpoint the best locations to drill.
One thing to note is that the permissions recently given by the Obama administration allow for the search for oil, but they do not actually allow for any drilling. This may seem strange – allowing for searching but no drilling – but it is a step in the right direction. Allowing the search seems to be a signal that times will change and companies will possibly actually be able to start drilling if they find large deposits in the area. Currently, there is a congressional ban on offshore drilling and oil production in the Atlantic, but this will expire in 2017.
By conducting the searches now and hopefully finding places worthwhile to drill, it means that actual drilling may occur sooner rather than later. Everything seems to be pointing in that direction. Of course, the companies actually need to be able to find the oil in the first place. There was previous exploration in this area in the 1980s. Of the areas they searched, they actually did not find anything. With the new and better technologies of today behind them, researchers are confident they will have more luck.
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