BOEMRE: First GOM Deepwater Exploration Plan Approved

Monday, March 21, 2011

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) Director Michael R. Bromwich announced that the bureau has approved an Exploration Plan, submitted by Shell Offshore Inc., following the completion of a site-specific Environmental Assessment (SEA) for deepwater oil and gas exploration. 

This is the first new deepwater exploration plan approved since the Deepwater Horizon explosion and resulting oil spill. 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, and other relevant information that needs to meet important safety standards. Once a plan is approved, additional new applications for permits to drill can be issued.
 
“The reforms we have implemented have set a strong new standard for safety and environmental protection for offshore operations,” said Secretary Salazar. “This exploration plan meets the new standards for environmental review and marks another important step toward safer deepwater exploration.”
 
“The successful completion of this environmental assessment, and the resulting approval of Shell’s exploration plan, unmistakably demonstrates that oil and gas exploration can continue responsibly in deep water,” said BOEMRE Director Bromwich. “Shell’s submission has satisfied the heightened environmental standards that we are now applying and I am confident that other operators can satisfy the same standards.”
 
The plan is a supplemental exploration plan that proposes activities that were not included in an original exploration plan for the same lease – located in Shell’s Auger field – which was approved in 1985.  This supplements the original plan by proposing to drill three exploratory wells in approximately 2,950 feet water depth, 130 miles offshore Louisiana.
 
BOEMRE prepared the SEA to examine Shell’s proposed exploration activities in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the implementation of departmental and bureau regulations.  
 
The SEA included new scientific information that had not been previously available for consideration or analysis. Based on its review, BOEMRE found no evidence that the proposed action would significantly affect the quality of the human environment. Therefore, BOEMRE determined that an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was not required and issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI), which allowed the supplemental exploration plan to be approved.
 
In August 2010, Secretary Salazar and Director Bromwich announced that the bureau would prepare environmental assessments, rather than rely upon categorical exclusions, before approving new exploration or development plans for deepwater drilling projects while it undertook a comprehensive review of its NEPA process. 
Maritime Reporter July 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Offshore

Fratelli Neri Orders Damen Tug

One of the largest Italian tug owners, Fratelli Neri S.p.A, ordered its first Damen tug, an ASD 3212, on 21 July 2015.   The vessel will be the first ASD tug

NOIA Applauds Senate Passage of OPENS Act

NOIA President Randall Luthi issued the following statement on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee’s passage of the OPENS Act, which will open new

Shell Moves Ahead in Arctic with Exploratory Well

Shell Oil's icebreaker MSV Fennica weaved through nine remaining protesters hanging from the St. Johns Bridge and made its way toward the Pacific Ocean.   Authorities

Government Update

Missing Person Rescued Near Brackettville

On July 31, Border Patrol Search Trauma and Rescue (BORSTAR) agents and CBP Office of Air and Marine rescued a man who was reported missing the previous morning.

Fire Aboard USS Mount Whitney

A fire broke out on board USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) while the ship was in Viktor Lenac Shipyard (Rijeka, Croatia) July 31, 2015. There were no personnel injuries in the fire,

Thordon Bearings Secures AK Ferry Contract

Thordon Bearings has received an order to supply its COMPAC system to two Alaska Ferry newbuilds under construction at the Vigor Industrial shipyard in Ketchikan, Alaska.

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Repair Ship Simulators
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1149 sec (9 req/sec)