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 January 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Offshore

InterMoor Completes Juniper Mooring Installation Contract

InterMoor has completed a mooring and foundation installation campaign for bpTT’s Juniper gas project offshore Trinidad and Tobago, reportedly the largest foundation

Boost for Offshore Wind Energy

As part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan to create American jobs, develop domestic clean energy resources and cut carbon pollution, Secretary of the Interior

Maersk Line Gets new AEO number

Maersk Line has been re-certified as an Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) with the AEO-F, the highest achievable accreditation in the European Union programme.

Government Update

Study Examines Impacts of Inland Waterway Investment

The National Waterways Foundation (NWF) has commissioned and released a two-year study to examine the U.S. inland waterways’ national economic return on investment

26-year Jail Term Sought for Concordia Master

An Italian prosecutor asked a court on Monday to sentence the captain of the Costa Concordia cruise liner to more than 26 years in jail for his role in the 2012 disaster that killed 32 people.

Boost for Offshore Wind Energy

As part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan to create American jobs, develop domestic clean energy resources and cut carbon pollution, Secretary of the Interior

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Naval Architecture Navigation Pipelines Pod Propulsion Salvage Ship Repair Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | 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: 0.2624 sec (4 req/sec)