Opening Statement – May 10, 2011
Drilling Down on New Technologies
“This morning’s hearing focuses on new developments in technologies for the exploration and production of oil and natural gas. It is a continuation of a series of hearings that the committee has held on oil and gas this Congress, beginning with our first hearing on overall trends in oil and gas markets, and including our hearing with the leaders of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Senator Murkowski suggested we have a technology-focused hearing to better understand new exploration and production activities that the industry is undertaking.
“I appreciate her suggestion and think it is timely, and given the broader interest in these activities we have invited a group of highly qualified technical experts to come and present testimony on this subject today.
“This hearing will help inform our coming deliberations on legislation relating to oil and natural gas. Yesterday, I introduced two bills related to these topics: the Oil and Gas Facilitation Act of 2011 and the Outer Continental Shelf Reform Act of 2011. Both bills are comprised of provisions that were introduced and passed out of our committee in the last Congress with strong bipartisan support. Along with this hearing, these two bills are a good starting point for what I hope will be a constructive, bipartisan dialogue on the topic as the rest of this month unfolds. We hope to have a hearing on the bills and related legislation next week. I hope we can mark up legislation relating to oil and natural gas as part of our overall committee agenda during this work period.
“Today we will be hearing from experts on the topic of recent advances in seismic data acquisition, processing and its new applications; advanced drilling technologies; and how enhanced oil recovery is allowing operators to get more production from their fields without drilling additional wells. Before we start hearing from our witnesses, let me defer to Senator Murkowski for her opening comments.”
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