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Gulf economy worth waiting on review

Most oil companies will not be affected by a six-month moratorium on off-shore oil drilling in the wake of the Deep Horizon oil rig explosion and subsequent spill.

Officials with Natchez’s Callon Petroleum, which has deepwater wells in the Gulf of Mexico, have recently said they don’t have immediate plans that will be affected by the moratorium and the company has not drilled any offshore wells in the Gulf in the last 18 months and has no plans to do so for the remainder of the year.

Also, Callon’s two major oil-producing wells, Medusa and Habanero, have not been affected by the continuing BP oil spill.

The company also says 94 percent of its budget for capital expenditure for 2010 is being spent in the onshore Permain Basin of West Texas and in the Haynesville Shale in northern Louisiana.

There has been lots of reaction to the moratorium throughout the country, suggesting the action is overkill and will adversely effect drilling capabilities of oil companies and hurt their bottom lines, in turn causing prices to skyrocket across the globe.

In fact, according to one wire service, only two wells were planned to be drilled in the deep water of the Gulf by all companies combined during the next six months.

That hardly seems like the entire industry is being put at risk.

It seems that the moratorium is prudent, considering nearly 40 percent of the fishing waters in the Gulf of Mexico have been shut down due to the spill.

At this point, the economies of the Gulf states will be more impacted by the carelessness of one oil company than the entire oil industry by a thoughtful investigation of deepwater drilling practices.

As for Callon, its business and practices have been considered safe and beyond reproach.

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