With continued economic growth, the world's energy needs are projected to increase by 50% in about 25 years. Solutions to meet these energy requirements will necessarily involve integrating many technologies, including oil and natural gas as well as alternative energy sources.
While oceans will be play a critical role in meeting tomorrow’s energy needs, the Deepwater Horizon tragedy acts as a reminder that strict adherence to responsible safety practices is essential as we operate in ocean ecosystems. In the drive to extract the fuels to power the modern global economy, there is no need to contaminate or degrade financially valuable ecosystem services.
As we strive for energy independence, it is imperative that we do not compromise the integrity of our environment or forego their natural services as we pursue American energy sources. The American energy sector is undertaking a remarkable lead in environmental stewardship measures and is shouldering an increasing level of the responsibility in developing environmentally sensitive technologies. OCF partners with industry leaders who are working with NGOs, as well as state and local governments, to minimize environmental footprint, voluntarily develop better safety practices, and incorporate responsible resource management practices and compliance measures into daily business.
In the oil and gas sector, for example, newly developed, advanced drilling methods, such as vertical and slimhole drilling, allow for energy exploration while avoiding sensitive surface and subsurface environmental features. Additional advancements minimize waste, environmental disruption, and operational noise. API’s Rigs-to-Reefs program, for example, dismantles out-of-service offshore oil and natural gas production platforms and uses them to create artificial reefs – which become thriving habitats for thousands of marine specis. Industry savings from the program are shared with the host state’s artificial reef program. These innovations, made in the pursuit of conserving financially invaluable natural services, spur American ingenuity and strengthen our national economy.