Matthew Rigdon, Executive VP and COO

I have and will continue to advocate for an “all of the above” approach to investing and developing global energy solutions. What is problematic, however, is the focus on renewable energy to the detriment of conventional oil and gas resources. The targets and timelines to achieve net zero carbon put forth by many of the world’s biggest economies, including the USA, are becoming more and more unrealistic. Continued cost increases and complexities of large renewable energy projects, coupled with animosity toward the conventional oil and gas industry has the potential to put significant strain on global energy markets. This is very concerning and also unnecessary.

Unfortunately, this trend is continuing and we don’t need to look any further than the US Gulf of Mexico to see a recent example. The US Department of the Interior has just announced plans for a second offshore auction of acreage to develop wind farms off of the coast of Louisiana and Texas. The prior auction that occurred last year resulted in very few bids with only a single bidder being awarded any lease acreage. This shows a tepid reception to the prospects of developing wind farms in the US GOM and there is little reason to believe that the newly announced auction would garner any more interest. This is in contrast to the demand for new oil and gas lease auctions in the US GOM, yet the Biden administration has decided to hold only three of these auctions over the next five years.

Fortunately, activity in the US GOM has remained robust which will continue due to the levels of current and planned activity on existing leases. However, there is reason for concern if the current negative sentiment around our industry continues. Hopefully we see a change in direction either by the current administration or the next administration as oil and gas remains vital and necessary to support the eventual energy transition.