A U.S. moratorium on deep-water oil and gas drilling may end sooner than Nov. 30 if evidence from hearings that start this week support lifting the ban, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Director Michael Bromwich said.
President Barack Obama named former Justice Department official Michael Bromwich to revamp federal management of offshore oil and gas exploration as part of an effort to clean up an agency the president says was plagued by corruption.
Lifting the moratorium on deep-water oil drilling is too risky as companies have yet to show they are capable of preventing and containing spills following the BP Plc disaster, the main regulator for U.S. offshore drilling said.
Investigations criticizing the Securities and Exchange Commission’s failure to catch the Bernard Madoff and R. Allen Stanford frauds may be thrown into question by allegations of misconduct and conflicts of interest inside the office of the agency’s internal watchdog.
The Obama administration this week plans to offer companies guidance for offshore drilling, the head of the agency in charge of approving permits said in response to mounting frustration from the industry.
As devastation from the worst U.S. oil spill mounts, President Barack Obama vowed that BP Plc will pay for all damage caused by its “recklessness” and that the government would commit to restoring the Gulf Coast.