The present paper addresses the necessity to apply Strategic Environmental Assessment on the Offshore Industry, in order to ensure sustainable development and eliminate dependence on foreign oil and gas.

The significance of deep water drilling as a national and global economy booster and job generator can hardly be exaggerated: offshore oil and gas production generates over $49 billion in annual sales, exceeds $180 billion in economic impacts, whereas generates over 642,000 American jobs. At a regional level, the Gulf of Mexico is the nation's greatest offshore region producing over 25% of US Oil and over 15% of US Natural Gas.

The core of this research is to investigate the most advanced methods of environmental assessment, and how these can benefit the offshore industry at a corporate, environmental and policy-making level. Econometric formulas and empirical models are used in order to a) assess the environmental risks and b) estimate the environmental costs vs. profit.

Qualitative statistics will be evaluated to test the effectiveness of these tools, whereas real life examples, e.g. the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico will offer valuable recommendations that will enhance the offshore environmental compliance.

This research will develop environmental guidelines and tools that will improve the safety standards and the environmental practices of the offshore companies, while the original econometric formulas used will serve as forecasting tools for the offshore industry.

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