1 Critical Reason Why Your Beach Vacation May Never Be the Same Again

Offshore drilling; coming to an Atlantic Coast beach near you...in 2017?

Mar 9, 2014 at 1:40PM

Isle Of Palms

I live less than 15 minutes away from one of the most gorgeous beaches on the Atlantic Ocean. As you can see in the picture above, the view from that beach can be breathtaking. Other than a few passing ships and an occasional shrimping boat the view from my beach is usually marked by a spectacular sunrise and a seemingly endless ocean of blue.

Laundry list of concerns
That view and those of many other Atlantic beaches, however, might not be the same for long. The Obama administration is continuing to explore the possibility of allowing oil and gas development in the Atlantic. This move is part of Obama's "all of the above" energy policy and it cleared another hurdle last week after the Interior Department released its environmental impact review.

That review lays out the safeguards for contractors that could conduct seismic surveys that would test potential energy sources that lie beneath the Atlantic. However, there still are a number of concerns here as development would open up the door for a myriad of potential environmental problems.

One of the concerns, for example, is that the seismic surveys alone pose a risk to sea life as the companies looking to run these tests would use air gun testing. According to the Sierra Club, these tests could kill or injure thousands of sea animals.

 Atlantic Ocean

Don't expect drilling rigs overnight
Other concerns include the potential for spills once development gets under way. This is actually one of the issues holding up the development in Alaska's Arctic. Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS-A) (NYSE:RDS-B) spent almost $6 billion and so far has just drilled two unfinished wells in 2012. Shell wasn't able to finish drilling into potential oil-bearing zones because a unique spill containment system wasn't ready. Shell was planning to resume drilling again this year but put its 2014 drilling program there on hold after a legal challenge set back its plans.

Joining the company with long delayed drilling plans is ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP), which was supposed to begin drilling this year. ConocoPhillips continues to site regulatory uncertainties as the reason why it has yet to begin drilling on the acreage it leased in the Arctic. In addition to that there is a long-standing legal uncertainty surrounding the 2008 government auction where ConocoPhillips bought its leases to drill in the Arctic.

Why bother drilling
One of the reasons why Royal Dutch Shell and ConocoPhillips are interested in the Arctic is because it's believed to hold 30% of the world's undiscovered natural gas as well as 13% of its undiscovered oil. That amounts to upwards of 400 billion barrels of oil equivalent, or ten times the total oil and gas that the industry has produced out of the prolific North Sea. It's simply a massive potential resources base.

Conocophillips Ekofisk

Photo credit: ConocoPhillips  

The potential energy resources in the Atlantic, however, are estimated to be much smaller than that. According to a 2012 study by the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, there might be as much as 3.3 billion barrels of oil and another 31.28 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. If that much oil and gas is down there it would represent approximately 4% of the total estimated recoverable oil and 8% of the estimated recoverable natural gas resources in U.S. federal waters. While that isn't all that much considering the size of recent onshore finds, it would help reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

Bottom line
We are one step closer to the industry beginning to drill for oil and gas off of the East Coast. However, if we've learned anything from Alaska, even signed leases doesn't mean drilling is soon to follow. All that being said, as much as I love the view from my beach the the "all of the above" approach that the President is pursuing, if done responsibly, is the proper course for our country as its puts energy independence one step closer to becoming a reality.

This is what has OPEC on edge

Energy independence is within reach and this company is one reason why. Imagine a company that rents a very specific and valuable piece of machinery for $41,000... per hour (that's almost as much as the average American makes in a year!). And Warren Buffett is so confident in this company's can't-live-without-it business model, he just loaded up on 8.8 million shares. An exclusive, brand-new Motley Fool report reveals the company we're calling OPEC's Worst Nightmare. Just click HERE to uncover the name of this industry-leading stock... and join Buffett in his quest for a veritable LANDSLIDE of profits!

Matt DiLallo owns shares of ConocoPhillips. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

©1995-2014 The Motley Fool. All rights reserved. | Privacy/Legal Information

Compare Brokers