BP’s Macondo Spill Won’t Affect Drilling Outside U.S., IEA Says

The biggest oil spill in U.S. history at BP Plc’s Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico will not slow deepwater drilling elsewhere in the world, according to the International Energy Agency.

Though U.S. output will fall by about 60,000 barrels of oil a day in 2010 and 100,000 barrels of oil a day in 2011, the IEA predicted in a report published today, “we currently do not foresee any significant impact on production elsewhere.”

U.S. President Barack Obama halted oil and natural-gas drilling in waters deeper than 500 feet (152 meters) after the Macondo well blew out April 20, killing 11 workers. Yesterday, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar ended the ban, which was scheduled to expire Nov. 30, saying companies must meet new safety requirements, including tougher standards on blow-out preventers and well design.

After releasing a report on “lessons learned,” British regulators have sanctioned drilling at the Lagavulin deepwater prospect off West Shetland. Deepwater drilling continues in Norway, and the Canadian senate concluded current rules are adequate, the IEA said. The Brazilian government is considering new regulations and recently closed a platform for safety reasons, according to the report.

Exxon Mobil Corp., in partnership with Chevron Corp., ConocoPhillips and Royal Dutch Shell Plc, formed the Marine Well Containment Co. in July. The companies agreed to invest $250 million each to establish the non-profit company, operational by 2011, which will be able to halt spills of 100,000 barrels a day in seas as deep as 10,000 feet.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kari Lundgren in London at klundgren2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net.

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