WASHINGTON, June 20 (UPI) -- The U.S. government needs a more robust long-term plan to develop offshore oil and natural gas reserves, a trade group said.
Erik Milito, director of upstream operations at the American Petroleum Institute, said a five-year development plan outlined last year by the White House is inadequate.
"It would limit offshore development to where it historically has always been: parts of the Gulf of Mexico and offshore Alaska. It would restrict opportunities when it should be expanding them," he said in a statement. "It would not help prepare us well for our energy future."
The U.S. government in November adopted a 217-page plan for offshore oil and natural gas development that "makes more than 75 percent of undiscovered technically recoverable oil and gas resources estimated on the Outer Continental Shelf available for development."
Milito's comments come as international oil and gas companies take part in a lease sale for acreage in the Gulf of Mexico. The U.S. government said it received close to 600 bids from 48 companies for the leases.
The sale is the first in the Gulf of Mexico since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, one of the worst in the history of the industry.