Oil drilling platform

Back in April of 2010, the Deepwater Horizon burst into flames and sank into the sea. For months, clean-up crews worked to contain the oil that spewed out at a rapid rate. In early May, President Obama announced that no additional deepwater drilling efforts would commence until measures to prevent the recurrence of this type of disaster were in place. Well, last October, the U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, announced that deepwater drilling would resume.

Now, as oil prices continue to climb, Salazar says that he hopes to approve a "significant" number of offshore drilling permits. On Monday, The U.S. Interior department approved drilling at a deepwater well co-owned by Noble Energy and BP. Salazar told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee that:
There are other deepwater permits that are pending and the ones that will go out the door will hopefully be the templates that will allow us to move forward with an additional, significant number of deepwater permits.
The funny part is – if you can find the dark humor in all of this – that even though Salazar is intent on increasing deepwater drilling efforts, he admits that expansion is unlikely to impact world oil prices:
We do not produce enough oil in this country to influence price of oil because it's set in world markets.
U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu agreed with Salazar's statement, claiming that expansion in offshore drilling would have no near-term impact on oil prices.

[Source: Reuters | Image: mikebaird – C.C. License 2.0]