Drillers: Oil well rules dire for business; others disagree

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — An industry study warns of dire consequences if pending rules to prevent another catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico go into effect, but critics questioned that claim.

The business research firm Wood Mackenzie says the safe-drilling regulations could raise drilling costs by 20 percent or more.

In worst-case scenarios, the analysis says exploration could drop by as much as 55 percent; less drilling could translate to $70 billion in lost federal and state tax revenues by 2030 and up to 190,000 lost jobs.

Critics called this forecast unrealistic.

The regulations call for improving the devices that shut down wells in blowouts and using new well construction standards.

Regulators estimate they won't be a major burden and will save money by preventing costly oil spills and saving lives.