How Many Offshore Drilling Permits Were Issued in August?
Shallow water drilling permits
In August 2017, not a single drilling permit was issued in the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico. In the previous month, one drilling permit was issued. For the first eight months of the year, there were nine shallow water drilling permits issued, which is the same as the first eight months of 2016.
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Deepwater drilling permits
There were two deepwater permits issued for August 2017, which was the same as in July. In the first eight months of 2017, there were 31 deepwater drilling permits compared to 49 issued in the same period last year.
What is a drilling permit?
A drilling permit gives oil companies approval to drill a well. Tracking drilling permits gives us an idea of customer sentiment and future plans. A higher or lower number of drilling permits suggests an improving or deteriorating outlook for offshore drillers (XLE) such as Transocean (RIG), Diamond Offshore (DO), Rowan Companies (RDC), Noble (NE), and Seadrill (SDRL).
Pending and returned applications
Returned and pending applications give us an idea of the probability of permit approvals in the coming months. However, some pending and returned applications might not be approved. Permits are only issued if companies comply with safety regulations and standards.
In August 2017, five drilling applications were returned for more information or clarification. In the same month, 12 applications were pending.