Sub-sea drilling technology shown to House

Members of a House panel today were told that oil and gas production platforms built more than 13 miles offshore would not be visible from the coast.

The House Select Policy Council on Strategic & Economic Planning is holding hearings towards developing legislation that would lift the state’s 20-year-old ban on drilling in Florida waters.

Those waters extend 10 miles offshore in the Gulf of Mexico and three miles into the Atlantic. Rep. Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park and council chairman, said Jan. 14 he’s interested in legislation that would require oil and gas production to be out of sight from the coast.

Today, council members were shown a futuristic video of equipment positioned on the ocean floor that can extract oil and gas without having rigs on the surface.

Frank C. Adamek, executive chief engineer for GE Oil & Gas, said the energy products can be piped 100 miles or more to platforms, loading terminals for ships or onshore storage facilities. The economic feasibility of it all, Adamek said, may depend on whether companies can tie into existing pipelines or loading facilities.

After the meeting, Cannon said the Legislature could require use of such technologies without concern for the cost.

“We don’t set the price-point,” he said. “What we set are proper safeguards to make sure we protect Floridians’ interests.”

The council meets again Feb. 10 to discuss oil and gas accidents and competing uses for Florida’s waters.

Artist’s rendition of oil production equipment from GE presentation to House. To download, click here.

(Story copyrighted by Bruce Ritchie and Do not copy or redistribute without permission.)