It’s a controversial tactic that some see as a way to get around the environmental regulations governing the oil and natural gas industry.
As of this writing, a new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) says that many offshore drilling companies are using the contract drilling method to drill under the oceans for oil.
According to the NRDC, “many of the drilling rigs deployed in recent years are not technically licensed to do oil and/or gas drilling, and many are in violation of environmental regulations by drilling well in the sea without authorization.”
In other words, they’re using offshore drilling to drill for oil in the ocean, without getting permission from the federal government.
As part of a series of investigations into offshore drilling by the NRSC, the NRCC released a report last week detailing the many ways in which offshore drilling is being used to drill oil and for gas.
In it, the authors found that, while the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports offshore drilling activity as a whole is increasing, the extent of offshore drilling varies greatly from one state to another.
“We found that there were hundreds of rigs operating in the United States today, but only about one in five of these rigs is licensed to drill,” the report reads.
“A majority of rigs operated in 2014 had never been licensed to conduct oil and geothermal exploration in the U.S.”
A number of the rigs deployed last year were not yet licensed to operate in the Arctic Ocean.
“According to EIA, there are more than 2,000 rigs operating on the continental shelf and nearly a quarter of these are not yet operating in Alaska, where most of the oil production is occurring,” the NRPC reports.
The report further explains that “the rig license requirements vary widely by state.
Some states require a minimum of a 3.8% drilling rig license, while others require a 3% license, and in the latter case, it can take years for a rig to get licensed to explore in the North Slope.”
The report found that the majority of offshore rigs deployed by companies in the drilling industry are not licensed to work in the US and are operating in non-US waters.
And there are many different reasons why the industry is moving in this direction.
One of the reasons is because drilling companies have found that offshore drilling has increased the likelihood of oil and mineral exploration in certain areas of the Arctic.
The same goes for the development of oil infrastructure in the region.
As the report explains, “a number of drilling rigs are being deployed to the North Pole in recent months to drill and test wells in a project called the New Northern Gateway.”
The New Northern Gate project is a plan by a company called Arctic Energy Holdings LLC to drill two new oil and thermal exploration wells in the Beaufort Sea.
The company is attempting to drill three of the new wells.
The Atlantic, Gulf, and Chukchi Seas lie in the Atlantic Ocean and the Chukchis in the Gulf of Alaska.
“While drilling has been underway, Arctic Energy is attempting the Chusko Basin project to develop the Chussko Basin area, where Arctic Energy will drill and drill for the first time since the completion of the Chuseok Dam in the late 1970s,” the company states.
The Chuseko Basin is located just off the coast of Alaska’s Chukchee Peninsula and has oil and minerals deposits that are currently under lease.
“In recent years, Arctic and other offshore drilling have also attracted attention because of the potential to tap into some of the region’s more significant offshore deposits and mineral resources, such as the Chufundi Basin in the Chuchu Sea, the Chilkoot Sea in the Bering Sea, and the Sakhalin Sea in northeastern Siberia,” the EIA states.
One oil well in particular has attracted the attention of some environmentalists.
In late 2015, Shell announced plans to drill a 1.6-billion-barrel-per-day (bpd) oil well off the northern coast of the Aleutian Islands.
The plan was approved in November 2015 and has since been completed.
The drilling of the well is slated to begin in 2020.
Shell’s drilling well was supposed to drill 2.3 bpd of oil, but the company has decided to drill 1.9 bpd.
This means that Shell has drilled just under 1.3 million barrels of oil.
“Shell’s decision to drill this well off of the northern Aleutians is the first such drilling well ever conducted in the Aleuts,” according to the Natural Resource Defense Council report.
The group notes that the drilling will create more than 1,200 jobs and will provide for “an economic boost of more than $200 million in Alaska and Canada.”
The Shell drilling well is one of the many examples of the type of offshore exploration and development that has been happening on the North Atlantic coast.
“The oil and chemicals industries are making billions off of offshore oil and other natural