J. Winston Porter: Offshore Atlantic energy surveys are needed

August 5, 2017

The time is ripe for seismic surveys to be used for accurate estimates of how much oil and natural gas lie beneath the Outer Continental Shelf.

Without requiring any drilling, advances in seismic technology make it easier to obtain data on undersea resources that government and industry officials need to decide whether to proceed with offshore oil and gas exploration.

Thanks to seismic technology, some important questions can be answered: Is there really billions of barrels of oil and trillions of cubic feet of natural gas off the coast of Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina? Can the resources be recovered safely and economically?

Currently energy companies have access to less than 15 percent of the Outer Continental Shelf. It's time to move forward to find out the size of oil and gas resources along the coast. The Trump Administration has given a go-ahead to permit applications for seismic surveys, reversing the Obama Administration's denial.

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