U.S. Offshore Oil and Gas Resources: Prospects and Processes [April 26, 2010]   [open pdf - 366KB]

From the Summary: "Access to potential oil and gas resources under the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) continues to be controversial. Moratoria on leasing and development in certain areas were established by Congress (beginning in 1981) and by the President (beginning in 1990). These moratoria were largely eliminated in 2008 and 2009, although a few areas remain legislatively off limits to leasing. The 111th Congress may be unlikely to reinstate broad leasing moratoria, but some members have expressed interest in protecting areas (e.g., the Georges Bank or Northern California) or establishing protective coastal buffers. Pressure to expand oil and gas supplies and protect coastal environments and communities will likely lead Congress and the Administration to consider carefully which areas to keep open to leasing and which to protect from development. On April 2, 2010, the Obama Administration announced Preliminary Revised Program (PRP) for the remainder of the 2007-2012 OCS Leasing Program. […] Consideration of offshore development for any purpose may raise concerns over the protection of the marine and coastal environment. […] One characteristic of the U.S. oil market, as well as of world oil markets, is that the access to supply tends to be sequential. Normally, the first source of oil used by a nation is domestic production, if available. Typically, the next source of supply is imports from countries not party to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Finally, residual demand is met by OPEC."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R40645
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