GREEN
05/24/2010 10:13 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Offshore Drilling Insurance Premiums Soar 15 To 50 Percent

The price to insure offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico has risen at least 15% since last month's Deepwater Horizon disaster and may stay permanently higher, as unknowns about the spill cleanup have left insurers feeling in the dark about their risks, industry executives say.

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Rates have risen 15% to 25% for rigs operating in shallow water, said [Richard] Kerr, [chief executive of MarketScout, a Dallas-based electronic insurance exchange] whose monthly summary of insurance prices are followed by insurers and their commercial customers. Price increases for operations further out to sea might be as high as 50%, he said.

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