Budget Deal Breaks Logjam on U.S.-Mexico Drilling Pact

The drilling tower of La Muralla IV exploration oil rig, operated by Mexican company 'Grupo R' and working for Mexico's state-owned oil company PEMEX, in the Gulf of Mexico on August 30, 2013. The semisubmersible platform is able to drill to a depth of 10.000 meters in an enviroment such as the Gulf of Mexico.
National Journal
Ben Geman
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Ben Geman
Dec. 11, 2013, 1:28 a.m.

The new Cap­it­ol Hill budget plan clears the way for a U.S.-Mex­ico off­shore drilling agree­ment to pro­ceed, sig­nal­ing the ap­par­ent end of a House-Sen­ate im­passe that has stalled im­ple­ment­a­tion of the 2012 ac­cord.

The agree­ment an­nounced Tues­day even­ing between Sen. Patty Mur­ray, D-Wash., and Rep. Paul Ry­an, R-Wis. has lan­guage tucked in­to it that ap­proves the U.S.-Mex­ico Trans­bound­ary Hy­dro­car­bons Agree­ment.

The bi­lat­er­al drilling ac­cord is de­signed to en­able co­oper­a­tion and leg­al cer­tainty in the de­vel­op­ment of oil-and-gas along a mari­time bound­ary in the Gulf of Mex­ico.

The budget plan an­nounced Tues­day would break a Cap­it­ol Hill lo­g­jam on the drilling ac­cord—if the over­all deal passes.

The un­der­ly­ing U.S.-Mex­ico drilling pact has bi­par­tis­an and White House sup­port. But the House-ap­proved ver­sion of the im­ple­ment­ing bill, which passed in June, in­cluded waivers from a pro­vi­sion of the Dodd-Frank law that re­quires oil-and-gas com­pan­ies to dis­close pay­ments to for­eign gov­ern­ments. The Sen­ate-ap­proved ver­sion of the U.S.-Mex­ico bill, which the White House backed, did not in­clude the lan­guage. House and Sen­ate dif­fer­ences over the bill have delayed fi­nal ac­tion for months.

Sen­ate and Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion aides said the Ry­an-Mur­ray deal jet­tis­ons the Dodd-Frank waiver, but in­cludes oth­er lan­guage from the House-passed ver­sion of the im­ple­ment­ing bill, H.R. 1613.

Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials say the U.S.-Mex­ico pact will foster de­vel­op­ment with needed safe­guards in place.

“This agree­ment will make nearly 1.5 mil­lion acres of the Out­er Con­tin­ent­al Shelf, cur­rently af­fected by a morator­i­um un­der the West­ern Gap Treaty, im­me­di­ately avail­able for leas­ing and also make the en­tire trans­bound­ary re­gion, which is cur­rently sub­ject to leg­al un­cer­tainty in the ab­sence of an agree­ment, more at­tract­ive to U.S.-qual­i­fied op­er­at­ors,” said Tommy Beau­dr­eau, a seni­or In­teri­or De­part­ment of­fi­cial, in testi­mony for an Oct. 1 Sen­ate hear­ing.

In­teri­or es­tim­ates that the trans­bound­ary re­gion con­tains 172 mil­lion bar­rels of oil and 304 bil­lion cu­bic feet of nat­ur­al gas.

What We're Following See More »
ANNOUNCED BY SCARAMUCCI
Sarah Huckabee Sanders Is New Press Secretary
3 hours ago
THE LATEST
SAYS IT WAS “AN HONOR”
Spicer Staying on Through August
4 hours ago
THE LATEST
FIRST IN WEEKS
On-Camera Press Briefing Today at 2
5 hours ago
WHY WE CARE
HE LASTED SIX MONTHS
Sean Spicer Resigns
5 hours ago
THE LATEST

He resigned this morning, "telling President Trump he vehemently disagreed with the appointment of New York financier Anthony Scaramucci as communications director." Per Politico, "chief of staff Reince Priebus and chief strategist Steve Bannon" were opposed to the appointment, while "Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, and Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Powell" were supportive..."Another White House official said Spicer was gracious while breaking the news of his departure, offered some praise for Scaramucci, while saying he would help with a transition."

Source:
STAFF IS PUSHING BACK
Trump Wants Scaramucci to Helm WH Communications
8 hours ago
THE LATEST

"President Trump is expected to announce that Wall Street financier Anthony Scaramucci will be White House communications director, according to two sources familiar with the planning. Trump has left the role open since Mike Dubke resigned in May, and the President has vented frequently to his friends about the performance of his press operation." According to NBC News, Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus are resisting the move.

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login