US Department of the Interior

US Department of the Interior proposes drilling off East Coast

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 28, 2015 – The US Department of the Interior released its 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Draft Proposed Program on Tuesday, unveiling plans to open the Atlantic coast to drilling.


The new programme area stretches from Virginia and the Carolinas down to the southern state of Georgia, covering more than one-third of the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf. Congress lifted the ban on drilling offshore exploration in the area in 2008, and the governors of the four states have been calling on Washington to allow drilling ever since.

According to the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf in its entirety is estimated to hold 4.72 billion barrels of undiscovered technically recoverable oil. The agency puts the recoverable volume of gas at 1.12 tcm (37.5 tcf).

The proposal will be finalised after a two-month-long public comment stage.

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