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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: http://www.gomr.boemre.gov/homepg/offshore/safety/well_permits.html   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.


WWF-Canada Brings Lawsuit Against Shell on Arctic

Two narwhal (Monodon monoceros) surfacing to breathe in Admiralty Inlet, Lancaster Sound, Nunavut, Canada. Photo: WWF-Canada

 WWF-Canada, represented by Ecojustice lawyers, is taking legal action to quash Arctic oil and gas exploration permits that continue to obstruct conservation efforts in Lancaster Sound, Nunavut.   The environmental group believes they “continue to obstruct conservation


Statoil Looks to the Arctic to Increase Exploration off Norway

Oil firm Statoil is looking to a rebound in exploration activity offshore Norway in the next few years with a focus on the Arctic, having curbed activity due to the oil price slump, the firm's exploration chief for Norway told Reuters.  


Cyprus LNG Terminal Non-starter?

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades. Photo: Cyprus Govt

 Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades has said that building an LNG terminal in Cyprus will depend on discoveries and the results of the country’s third licensing round.   Discussing the Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone’s third licensing round


Challenges for Offshore Exploration

Graph: Clarksons Research

 The oil discoveries are down 47% y-o-y on an annualised basis so far in 2016, global rig utilisation has dropped 22 percentage points to 73% in two years, and 29% of seismic units are inactive, says Clarksons Research.    As a result of weaker oil prices and E&P spending cuts


Premier Oil and Rockhopper Abandon Ocean Rig Contract

Photo: Premier Oil

 Two of the major British players in Falkland Islands offshore oil development, Premier Oil and Rockhopper Exploration, cancelled a joint venture contract with Ocean Rig UDW.   In June 2014, the companies entered into a contract with Ocean Rig for the provision of the Eirik Raude for


Statoil Strengthens its position in Uruguay

Uruguay map Courtesy Statoil

Statoil has signed a farm-in agreement with Tullow to acquire a 35% working interest in offshore exploration block 15 in the Pelotas basin, deepening its position in Uruguay. "With this transaction, we are increasing our exposure to the upside potential of this untested geological setting


Intertek Enhances Sample Cylinder Service

Intertek has enhanced its sample cylinders services with the aim of providing further cost savings for clients.   Sample cylinders are used by offshore chemists to transport live crude, gas and water samples from offshore to onshore laboratories for testing


Statoil Cancels Maersk Rig Contract

Image: Statoil

 Norwegian firm Statoil ASA is ending its rig contract for the Maersk Gallant six months early.    The jack up rig has been on contract with Statoil for two years, since 21 August 2014, and since 9 October it has been sub-chartered to ConocoPhillips.  


Offshore Vessels: Squall Delivered to Jackson Offshore Operators

(Photo: BAE Systems/Jackson Offshore Operators)

BAE Systems delivered its fourth and final of series platform support vessel (PSV) to Jackson Offshore Operators, LLC, completing a four-ship program that began in 2012. Motor Vessel Squall joins three other vessels built by BAE Systems’ Jacksonville, Florida, shipyard to support U.S


China Adopts Deep Sea Exploration Law

China on Friday adopted a new law on deep sea exploration, state media said, the country's latest move to cement its status as a seagoing power. President Xi Jinping is reforming the military and investing in submarines and aircraft carriers


Statoil and ExxonMobil Win Irish Oil Licenses

Oil majors Statoil and ExxonMobil have been awarded six options to search for oil and gas offshore Ireland in the country's latest licensing round, Statoil said on Wednesday.   The two firms each hold 50-percent stakes in all the acreage


India’s NUSI Warns of Oil Exploration Training Shortage

Abdulgani Serang (Photo: NUSI)

Indian shipping trade union the National Union of Seafarers of India (NUSI) has asked the Indian Ministry of Shipping for financial help toward the training of maritime workforce in oil exploration activities.   The union’s General Secretary, Abdulgani Serang


Rosneft Starts Drilling First International Offshore Well

Russian oil producer Rosneft's Vietnamese subsidiary has started drilling an exploration well off the south coast of Vietnam, it said on Wednesday.   It is Rosneft's first individual international offshore drilling project as an operator, Russia's largest oil producer said in a statement.


Schlumberger Led Consortium Wins Malaysia Offshore Survey

Image: TGS

 Malaysia has opened an area of its offshore waters to the multi-client seismic model for the first time. The move is a result of a new initiative by Petronas to stimulate offshore E&P investment activity.   “A consortium comprising of PGS, TGS and Schlumberger WesternGeco


China Rebuffs Vietnam Criticism of Rig Move

China's Foreign Ministry on Friday rebuffed Vietnam's second demand this year to move a controversial oil rig and drop plans to drill in South China Sea waters where jurisdiction is unclear, saying it was engaging in normal exploration activity.






 
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