Importance of Deepwater Oil and Gas Production in the Gulf of Mexico

With gas prices going up and political instability in the Middle East threatening world oil supplies, Houston maritime lawyer Kurt Arnold said today that he recognizes the importance of deepwater oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico.

But Arnold said oil and gas companies that receive deepwater drilling permits should have improved safety procedures and disaster response plans to protect workers and avoid a repeat of the BP Transocean disaster that killed 11 rig workers last April.

“We need to put offshore rig workers in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi back to work and increase reliance on our own sources of energy,” said Arnold, a partner in Arnold & Itkin LLP, a maritime accident law firm based in Houston that represents victims of the Deepwater Horizon disaster and Gulf oil spill. “But we should require exploration companies engaged in deepwater drilling to have carefully crafted emergency plans to protect the lives and safety of offshore rig workers.

“We’ve lost too many offshore workers in preventable accidents already,” said Arnold, an experienced maritime injury and BP oil spill lawyer.

A recent Gallup poll, published in USA Today, shows that a majority of Americans favor increased offshore drilling along U.S. coasts. The poll follows the issuance of a second deepwater drilling permit by the U.S. Department of the Interior, allowing drilling crews to resume deepwater oil and gas exploration that had been suspended since the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster last April caused the worst oil spill in U.S. history.(

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