Oil & gas production on federal tracts fell in 2011

Obama to blame.

Greenwire reports:

Domestic oil production may be at an all-time high nationwide, but the increase is primarily occurring on state and private lands rather than on federal land and waters, where production appears to have dropped significantly in 2011, according to the most recent government data.

Production of natural gas on public lands and waters in fiscal 2011 dropped 11 percent from the previous year, according to Interior Department data. Oil production dipped nearly 14 percent.

The reduction in oil production was most significant in the Gulf of Mexico, where it declined nearly 17 percent to 514 million barrels from 618 million barrels in 2010.

There could be many causes, but some say Gulf production is beginning to respond to the drilling moratorium that stalled deepwater exploration for much of the summer and fall of 2010 after the massive BP PLC oil spill. In addition, permitting was initially slow after the moratorium was lifted as companies adjusted to new safety standards designed to prevent another spill. Today’s production levels are responding accordingly.

“We all know how long it takes for production to come online,” said Dan Kish, senior vice president for policy at the Institute for Energy Research. “This is a pretty significant decline; it almost has to represent the impact of the moratorium”…