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Exploration Plan

BOEMRE Calls for Public Comment, New Deepwater EA

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) announced that public comment is invited with respect to an Environmental Assessment (EA) for a supplemental Exploration Plan (EP) submitted by Hess Corporation. This supplemental EP involves deepwater activity in the Gulf of Mexico and will be completed in accordance with new safety and environmental standards implemented since the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill.   The Supplemental EP includes three proposed exploratory wells in approximately 4,036 feet water depth, approximately 130 miles offshore Louisiana. Consistent with federal regulations, an EP is deemed “submitted” once all supporting materials and documentation has been provided. Once a plan is deemed submitted, BOEMRE has 30 calendar days to analyze and evaluate it.  For more information on pending plans, go to:   As part of its review, the bureau will prepare an EA specific to the proposed exploration activities. Upon completion of the technical and environmental review, BOEMRE must decide whether to approve the plan, require modifications, or disapprove the plan. An exploration plan describes all exploration activities planned by the operator for a specific lease or leases, including the timing of these activities, information concerning drilling vessels, the location of each planned well

Amendments to Pending Exploration Plans

On April 22, BOEMRE called for public comment to inform new deepwater environmental assessment. Statoil, Inc. and BHP Billiton Petroleum Americas have provided amendments to their exploration plans (EP). The amended plans have been deemed submitted on April 28, and the 30-day review of the proposed activities has re-started.   There are currently four deepwater EPs that have been deemed submitted. Shell Offshore, Inc.'s supplemental EP was amended and deemed submitted on April 12, 2011

BOEMRE on Resuming Pre-Approved Activities

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) notified 13 companies whose deepwater drilling activities were suspended by last year’s deepwater drilling moratorium that they may be able to resume those previously-approved activities without the need to submit revised exploration or development plans for supplemental National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) reviews. Before resuming those activities without additional NEPA review, however

BOEM Approves First BP Exploration Plan in GOM

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) approved a supplemental Exploration Plan (EP) submitted by BP for deepwater oil and gas activities. BOEM conducted a site-specific Environmental Assessment (EA) of the activities described in the plan. This is the 44th plan that has been approved following the completion of a site-specific EA since stronger regulations were implemented in June 2010. Prior to any drilling under the plan

NOIA Welcomes BOEM Shell's Plan Conditional Approval

NOIA President  Randall Luthi

  NOIA President Randall Luthi issued the following statement on BOEM's conditional approval of Shell's revised Chukchi Sea exploration plan: The BOEM's (Bureau of Ocean Energy Management) decision to conditionally allow Shell to proceed with the carefully planned and coordinated drilling effort in Alaska is good news.  The potential for energy development in the Chukchi Sea would allow Alaskans to benefit from well-paying jobs and resources to safeguard the environment

Shell Gets APD for limited Arctic Drilling

Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) personnel conducted inspections of Shell Oil Co. marine vessels Noble Discoverer and the semi-submersible drilling unit Transocean Polar Pioneer in Dutch Harbor, Alaska

  After extensive review and under a robust array of safety requirements, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) Director Brian Salerno today announced that Shell has received conditional approval of two Applications for Permits to Drill (APD) to conduct limited exploratory drilling activities in the Chukchi Sea offshore Alaska. Specifically, the APDs limit Shell to drilling only the top sections of wells and prohibit Shell from drilling into oil-bearing zones.

MMS Finds No Current Interest In Proposed Sale

MMS received no request to continue the sale process for exploring Norton Basin for oil and gas in its first Call for Information for the area that closed on April 22nd. “We didn’t expect much interest from companies at this time,” said MMS Regional Director John Goll. “This first Call for Information got the idea of a small focused sale out to the companies. I hope that they will consider the area and its needs and how working in Norton Sound might work into upcoming exploration plans.”

BOEMRE Holds Technical Permitting Workshop

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) Director Michael R. Bromwich today announced that the bureau has developed and implemented several new tools to help offshore oil and gas operators improve their exploration and development plan and permit applications. These tools will allow offshore operators to better track their submissions and improve the quality and completeness of their applications, which will decrease processing delays.

U.S. Invites Industry Interest in Oil and Gas Lease Sale

Washington - The Department of the Interior is seeking input from industry to determine interest in oil and gas exploration off the coast of South-Central Alaska – a key step in the planning process for a potential oil and natural gas lease sale in the Cook Inlet Planning Area. This is the latest step by the Obama Administration toward production in Alaska’s offshore areas, and builds on broader steps to increase production in Alaska.

Wayward Rig 'Kulluk' Safely Arrives Kiliuda Bay

Logos courtesy of Unified Command

The 'Kulluk', towed by the 'AHTS Aiviq' has arrived in the safe harbor for assessment of any damage caused by its recent grounding. The Kulluk was refloated from its Ocean Bay position, off Sitkalidak Island, late Jan. 6, and will remain connected to its support vessels while it undergoes assessment in Kiliuda Bay, located about 30 miles north of Ocean Bay. The final location for assessment within the Bay will be determined by environmental conditions, including weather.

PGS : Building Further Success in Newfoundland, Labrador

PGS 2D and 3D surveys in Eastern Canada

  PGS has recently completed the fifth consecutive acquisition season offshore Newfoundland and Labrador as part of the ongoing joint venture (JV) with TGS. The successful 2015 season was the biggest yet with PGS operating four vessels, two 3D and two 2D vessels

Norway's Statoil to Exit Alaska

Photo: Statoil

Norwegian oil major Statoil said on Tuesday it will pull out of Alaska as its exploration leases in the Chukchi Sea no longer looked competitive.   "Since 2008 we have worked to progress our options in Alaska. Solid work has been carried out

Update: Statoil Follows Shell out of Alaska

Norwegian oil major Statoil said on Tuesday it will pull out of Alaska's Chukchi Sea, just weeks after Royal Dutch Shell abandoned the treacherous waters there after spending billions on oil exploration work.   The latest pullback comes as oil companies slash spending on expensive offshore

Celata Heads BOEM's Gulf of Mexico Office

Michael Celata

  Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Director Abigail Ross Hopper today announced Mike Celata as the Regional Director of the Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Region. Celata, who starts his position immediately, has been with BOEM and its predecessors since 1988

Oil is Down, Not Out: BOEM Proposes 40-Million-Acre GOM Lease Sale

Despite the continued depressed price of oil and gas, the U.S.  Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) via Director Abigail Ross Hopper announced that BOEM will offer 40 million acres offshore Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama for oil and gas exploration and development in sales that will

Shell Withdraws from Arctic Exploration

Fennica, an icebreaker vessel deployed by Shell in the Arctic (Photo: Arctia Shipping)

Royal Dutch Shell has abandoned its Arctic search for oil after failing to find enough crude in a move that will appease environmental campaigners and shareholders who said its project was too expensive and risky. Shell has spent about $7 billion on exploration in the waters off Alaska so far and

NOIA Commends Shell’s Efforts Offshore Alaska

Polar Pioneer rig operating into the floor of the Chukchi Sea

  National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) President Randall Luthi today issued the following statement regarding Shell’s decision to halt exploration activities offshore Alaska:   “NOIA commends Shell’s efforts in the Chukchi Sea and recognizes the great expense

House Bill Introduced to Block Arctic Drilling

Jared Huffman (Official photo)

Rep. Huffman introduces Stop Arctic Ocean Drilling Act; bill would prohibit oil and gas leasing in the Arctic Ocean   U.S. Congressman Jared Huffman (Dem.-Calif.) introduced a bill Monday called the Stop Arctic Ocean Drilling Act of 2015

Shell Starts Bonga Phase 3 in Nigeria

Photo: Shell

Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Ltd (SNEPCo) announced the start-up of production from the Bonga Phase 3 project.   Bonga Phase 3 is an expansion of the Bonga Main development, with peak production expected to be some 50,000 barrels of oil equivalent, Shell said

NOIA Response : Cancellation of Alaska OCS Lease Sales

Outer Continental Shelf Image courtesy NOIA

  National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) President Randall Luthi today issued the following statement regarding the Interior Department’s decision to cancel two offshore Alaska lease sales and deny requests to extend current Alaska offshore leases:

New Business Development Manager for GAC O&G

Lailah Soon as Regional Business Development Manager, Oil & Gas.

  GAC is strengthening its strategic focus on the Asian Pacific energy sector with the appointment of Lailah Soon as Regional Business Development Manager, Oil & Gas. Soon has more than a decade of experience in the oil & gas logistics sector in Singapore, New Zealand and Dubai

Is Oil Industry Backing Away From Offshore Arctic Drilling ?

Prirazlomnaya platform. Photo: Information Directorate, Gazprom

 The principal difficulty for Arctic offshore drilling right now, according to oil industry think tank, is economic.  The companies may be back for another try at Arctic offshore drilling, in U.S. waters or elsewhere, if economic conditions change, reports AP.  

Statoil to Explore Offshore S. Africa

South Africa map

  Statoil has completed a farm-in transaction with ExxonMobil Exploration and Production South Africa Limited (ExxonMobil), acquiring a 35 percent interest in the ER 12/3/154 Tugela South Exploration Right. The remaining interests are held by the operator ExxonMobil (40%) and co-venturer

Lundin Spuds off Malaysia

Courtesy Lundin Petroleum

  Lundin Petroleum's wholly owned subsidiary Lundin Malaysia BV  has commenced drilling of the Selada-1 exploration well in Block PM308A, offshore Malaysia. The well will target hydrocarbons in Miocene aged sands and is located 14 km to the south of the Bertam field operated by

Peru to Cut O&G Royalties to Counter Price Slump

Peru is reducing royalties on oil and gas production to about 5 percent on average from the current 20 percent in order to encourage exploration amid slumping prices, the government said Wednesday.   The smaller take should help Peru boost interest in new oil contracts that will come up for

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