“NOIA welcomes the report on Preserving Military Readiness in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, which not only provides a template for future coordination and consultation between the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of the Interior (DOI), but also is a starting point for a productive and cooperative relationship between the offshore energy industry and DOD.
The report shows there is a lot of ocean out there and while there will be devils in the details, the overall message from the Pentagon should be interpreted as cooperation and coordination. In addition, as companies are allowed to explore and evaluate oil and natural gas plays, it is likely that areas of high potential will be more clearly defined and thus allow for additional military operations.
“The report identifies areas in the Gulf of Mexico where energy development activities can occur and as importantly, the very limited areas where DOD recommends they cannot. Military operations and energy development have co-existed and thrived in many areas in the Gulf of Mexico for decades under a 1983 Memorandum of Agreement between DOD and DOI, as evidenced by the roughly one-third of current Gulf leases including military training stipulations and restrictions. The report concludes that, with similar stipulations and restrictions mutually agreed on by DOD and DOI, critical military operations and essential energy development can co-exist and thrive in the eastern Gulf of Mexico as well.”