(Obama offshore drilling moratorium story updated for Total, Noble, Exxon Mobil comments)
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- President Obama had something to say this week to the oil and gas industry lobby groups that have cried foul for months over the Obama administration's offshore drilling moratorium: Quit crying.
The White House released on Thursday a review of the impact of the offshore drilling ban that suggests the huge job losses in the Gulf region that were feared did not materialize, nor did the massive economic damage that some predicted. On the same day, top management from many of the major oil and gas companies were speaking at a Barclays Capital conference and presenting a less benign view of the Obama administrations actions to control drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.
President Barack Obama's moratorium on deep-water drilling -- implemented after the BP (BP) oil spill -- is costing no more than 8,000 to 12,000 jobs, as offshore rig operators have retained skilled workers during the suspension, according to the Obama administration report.
The White House report states that the average number of rig workers fell by about 2,000 and spending by drillers declined by $1.8 billion since the drilling ban began in May.
(BP) There have been many predictions of job losses in the tens of thousands, and even the Obama administration had predicted that the drilling ban would lead to 23,247 lost jobs. It turns out, according to the Obama administration analysis, that even with drilling at a halt, rig workers were not laid off by major drilling operators.