A slightly confusing report has just dropped into my inbox from the German consultancy EnergyComment. It carries the provocative title Offshore oil drilling: Public costs and risks are too high and states (underlining the author’s own):
A ban on all new offshore oil drilling is justified as the risks are too high relative to the rewards.
This is considerably more hardline than the current position even of the US government, which has implemented a six-month ban on new deepwater drilling (in this case, drilling at depths of over 500ft).
But when I look for the justification for such an assertion, it is difficult to find. Much of the report focuses on the problems that come with depth, rleaving out shallower drilling altogether. It also seems to set a high bar on what is a “justified risk”. Here’s a sample argument: