Willie Sutton robbed banks because that’s where the money is. And oil companies venture into deep waters for exploration because that’s where the oil is.
That’s why — even though President Obama has imposed a six-month moratorium on deep-water exploration drilling in the Gulf of Mexico — the oil and gas industry is going to be back. And it’s why in other countries, the deep-water search hasn’t stopped.
Within five years, global deep-water production is expected to rise by two-thirds, to 10 million barrels a day, according to Cambridge Energy Research Associates. That’s equivalent to the amount of crude oil that the world’s largest exporter, Saudi Arabia, produces. And in the United States, improved technology for extracting oil from deep water accounted for about 70 percent of the increase in the U.S. Geological Survey’s estimates of recoverable U.S. oil reserves in recent years.
[Note from the publisher: As of today, the Washington Post has changed its name to The Mufson Report, in recognition of the fact that reporter Steve Mufson writes virtually all of the contents.]