NEW YORK (AP)
— The oil industry says it recognizes why the U.S. would push to increase safety regulations for offshore oil drilling following the massive spill in the Gulf of Mexico. But more than three months after the government lifted its moratorium on deepwater exploration, the drilling activity remains at a standstill. Chevron Chairman and CEO John Watson told Wall Street analysts in a conference call that the wait has been frustrating.
The San Ramon, Calif., oil giant said the slowdown cost the company $100 million in 2010. QUESTION: How has the moratorium slowed you down? ANSWER: "I can't tell you how fast this is going to proceed," Watson said. "We seem to take a step forward and then a step back with difficulties in interpreting the new (rules) that are out there. We try to be of assistance. But the bottom line is they're not issuing permits. Until they issue permits, wells won't be drilled."