Oil Output Should Rise to 3 Million Barrels, U.S. Lawmaker Says

The U.S. should boost offshore oil output to 3 million barrels a day by 2027, opening areas of the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico for exploration, House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings said.

Hastings, a Washington Republican, introduced legislation that he said would boost domestic energy output and create jobs. The measure would require the administration to lease areas of the Atlantic off the Virginia coast within a year, according to a statement today at a news conference in Washington.

The legislation would force the Interior Department to speed permits to drill and let oil companies hold leases longer if agency delays prevented the companies from drilling.

Republicans have criticized President Barack Obama for holding up deep-water exploration in the Gulf for 10 months after BP Plc (BP/)’s April oil spill. The Interior Department issued seven permits, allowing work to resume on wells idled after the accident, Melissa Schwartz, an Interior spokeswoman, said today in an e-mail.

Offshore production in 2009 was 1.7 million barrels a day from federal and state leases, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

To contact the reporter on this story: Katarzyna Klimasinska in Washington at kklimasinska@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Liebert at lliebert@bloomberg.net.

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