No one would argue that the stakes in subsea deepwater drilling are high: Currently, investors are managing up to $2.5 trillion in deepwater wells across the globe. Deepwater oil production capacity (2,000 feet or deeper) has tripled since 2000 to five million barrels a day and has the potential to double again by 2015, according to Cambridge Energy Research Associates. There are now 14,000 deepwater wells worldwide.
After facing significant financial losses from the BP oil spill, more than 50 U.S. and other global investors sent letters to major energy companies (offshore oil and gas producers) demanding disclosure of information regarding their risk oversight measures, which include both spill prevention and response plans such as contingencies in the event of another deepwater well blowout. The letter-sending initiative, headed by Ceres, a Boston-based coalition of investors, environmental groups and other public interest organizations working with companies to address sustainability challenges, also were sent to insurers, requesting them to disclose whether they are considering adjusting their relative exposure to the industry or are changing underwriting rules in the wake of the disaster.
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