Offshore drilling companies that typically stick to the Gulf of Mexico may soon be able to expand onto nearby regions, as a bill that would allow companies to drill off the coast of Virginia is expected to be passed, according to an article in The Hill. 

The bill, created by two Virginia Democrats, has been supported by other coastal lawmakers and would lift a current ban that restricts drilling in that area until 2017. The two senators that proposed the bill, Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, said that lifting this ban would uncover additional offshore drilling resources as well as create leases for drillers in 2020. Originally, the Obama administration was planning on offering drilling leases, but changed its mind after the BP oil spill.

"Our legislation includes appropriate environmental protections and an equitable formula for sharing revenues between the state and federal governments," Warner said to the Daily Press. "I believe that changes in the membership of the Senate after the 2012 elections have helped to produce a potentially more supportive atmosphere for our legislation."

Whether this ban will be lifted has yet to be seen, but companies can still prepare for a future with additional areas to available for offshore drilling. In order to do so, however, companies should also be aware of the offshore oilfield insurance necessary for their equipment and industry. In a time with increased regulations, especially since the BP oil spill, having the maximum amount of protection and coverage can help companies expand into the Atlantic, or other regions, in the future. 

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