Shell expands Gulf drilling despite mixed signals on future leases

(The Associated Press)

Uncertainty about the future of oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico under the Biden administration has drillers on edge, but Shell, the Gulf’s largest producer, is planning to continue investing billions over the next several years, The Wall Street Journal reports. 

Shell is putting the finishing touches on its 13th major offshore project, the $3 billion Vito, which will be towed out into waters south of New Orleans to start pumping gas from eight wells. Louisiana gets a cut of any government royalties collected from the offshore rigs.

Shell committed to the Vito project four years ago and the company intends to keep investing in the region despite mixed signals from the federal government, says Paul Goodfellow, Shell’s global head of deep-water operations

BP is also moving ahead with current development plans. A BP spokesperson says the company is encouraged that the administration released a five-year plan, even though it could severely limit or even prohibit further lease sales. Read the full story.