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Members of US Congress and the public urge more drilling

April 21/2011

(ICIS) -- One year after the BP rig disaster, federal regulators are urging further safety and containment measures, the energy industry complains of slow permitting, and members of Congress and the public urge more drilling as US gasoline prices edge past USD 4/gal (EUR 0.74/litre).

The American Petroleum Institute (API) said that beyond the regulatory and policy issues raised by the 20 April 2010 rig explosion and months-long oil spill, it is important that we remember the 11 workers who died in the accident, their families and the communities along the Gulf coast that were most affected.

We should also keep in mind our industrys unprecedented response to addressing the spill and to improving safety after the accident, said API president Jack Gerard, noting that federal regulators incorporated a number of industry recommendations in the Interior Departments new and broadened offshore development regulations.

Interior Department Secretary Ken Salazar cited the one-year anniversary of the BP accident in convening the first meeting in Washington of a new a government and stakeholder group called the Ocean Energy Safety Advisory Committee (OESC). The 15-member panel includes federal officials, representatives of the offshore oil and gas industry, academics and various research groups.

Salazar said the panel would advise his department on matters and actions relating to offshore energy safety, including drilling and workplace safety, blowout containment and spill response.

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