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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

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

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

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

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

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.

Iran Calls for Oil Majors to Bid for New Projects

Photo: National Iranian Oil Company

 Iran has invited global energy giants to a tender for the development of several of its key oil sector projects.     The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) via an announcement has called on foreign exploration and production companies to submit the required pre-qualification

Sailing into the Arctic’s Future

Randall Luthi (Photo: NOIA)

Last month, a large cruise ship completed its inaugural cruise through the Northwest Passage. The historic journey brought nearly 1,700 passengers from Seward, Alaska, past the rugged wilderness and isolated villages of the Arctic, to the concrete jungle of New York City

Changing Spill Risk in a Changing Arctic Landscape

Dagmar Schmidt Etkin

Industry analyst and environmental consultant Dagmar Schmidt Etkin, PhD, takes a hard look at a rapidly shifting operational landscape in the Arctic. Always an honest broker of information, Etkin tells it like it is.    Oil spill risk is present anywhere that oil is present in

Fugro: Contract for US Offshore Wind Development Project

Courtesy Fugro

Fugro has been awarded the contract by Vineyard Wind, formerly named OffshoreMW, to perform a marine geotechnical site investigation within its wind development lease, offshore Massachusetts. Fugro’s state-of-the-art, 105-meter drilling vessel M/V Fugro Synergy will perform the study

NOIA Applauds Passage of House Interior Appropriations Bill

NOIA - Randall Luthi President of the National Ocean Industries Association

NOIA President Randall Luthi released the following statement after the House of Representatives passed the 2017 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill: “NOIA applauds members of the House of Representatives for passing the first Interior and Environment Appropriations bill since

U.S. to Crack Down on Ocean Noise that Harms Fish

Richard Merrick, chief science adviser to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration Photo NOAA

The ocean has gotten noisier for decades, with man-made racket from oil drilling, shipping and construction linked to signs of stress in marine life that include beached whales and baby crabs with scrambled navigational signals. The United States aims to change that as a federal agency prepares

Fennica Grounding Caused by Inaccurate Charts

Fennica (File photo: Arctia Shipping)

The July 2015 grounding of icebreaker Fennica near Dutch Harbor, Alaska was found to be caused by inaccuracy of nautical charts in the area, according to the U.S. Coast Guard’s Report of Investigation (ROI). The Finnish multipurpose icebreaker, owned by Arctia Offshore

SBM Offshore Nominates Wood as CFO

SBM Offshore has nominated D.H.M. Wood as a member of the management board and chief financial officer (CFO) to replace current CFO, P.M. van Rossum, who is set to retire.   The company will hold an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) on November 30

US Offshore Lease Sale Yields $18 Mln in High Bids

Today’s U.S. oil and gas Lease Sale 248 garnered $18,067,020 in high bids for 24 tracts covering 138,240 acres in the Western Gulf of Mexico Planning Area, announced Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Director Abigail Ross Hopper

Russian Shipbuilder Signs $1 bln Oil Rigs Contract with Iran

Photo by Krasnye Barrikady Shipyard

 Russian shipbuilder Krasnye Barrikady and Iran's Tasdid Offshore Development Company (TODC)  have signed a deal worth $1 billion to build five offshore drilling rigs for oil and gas exploration in the Persian Gulf, reports Press TV.  

Brazil May Open Petrobras Subsalt Area to Other Companies

Brazil may allow companies besides Petrobras to bid for the right to produce extra oil from areas it sold to the state-led oil company in 2010, the head of the exploration and production policy at the energy ministry, Jose Botelho, said on Wednesday.  

Petrobras to Seek Builders for Six Platforms

Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Brazil's state-run oil company, as of 2017 will begin seeking offers for the construction of six new offshore oil platforms envisioned in current investment plans, according to a newspaper interview published Sunday.

NYK Buys Stake in EMAS Chiyoda Subsea

(Photo: EMAS Chiyoda Subsea Limited)

NYK has acquired a 25 percent share of EMAS Chiyoda Subsea Limited (ECS), based on an agreement signed on June 10 with Ezra Holdings Limited (Ezra) and the Chiyoda Corporation (Chiyoda).   ECS is a global player in the engineering, procurement, construction

An Introduction To Offshore Project CAPEX

Graph: Clarksons Research

 Two high-level indicators of vessel and structure demand in the offshore sector are energy prices and oil company exploration & production (E&P) spending, says Clarksons Research.   A third, slightly more specific indicator is estimated offshore project capital expenditure

Japan Protests over Signs of Renewed Chinese Gas Exploration

Japan has protested to China over signs it is pressing ahead with maritime gas exploration in the East China Sea despite Tokyo's repeated requests to stop, Japan's top government spokesman said on Wednesday.   The exploration platforms are on the Chinese side of the median line between the

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