Mobile, Alabama (CNN) — The head of the government agency that regulates offshore drilling said Tuesday that it is “unlikely” a six-month moratorium on the practice will be extended.
“Obviously, we can’t predict everything that we learn or everything that may happen in the outside world before then, but … I see no information so far that would justify extending the moratorium,” said Michael Bromwich, the head of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management — formerly the Minerals Management Service.
“[It’s] not impossible but unlikely,” he added.
Bromwich is hosting forums this week with federal, state and local leaders across the Gulf coast to gather input on deepwater drilling safety reforms, well containment and oil spill response. He is being briefed by panels of experts from academia, the environmental community, and the oil and gas industry so he can evaluate whether to recommend any modifications to the scope or duration of deepwater drilling suspensions announced by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on July 12.
Right now, drilling of any sort in the Gulf of Mexico is coming to a standstill. Drilling on the final 50 feet of a relief well expected to intercept BP’s crippled oil well in the Gulf was suspended Tuesday because of a tropical disturbance in the region, officials said.