Marine Link
Monday, January 22, 2018

Continental Shelf News

Trump Aims to Open Nearly All US Offshore to Oil Drilling

© wanfahmy / Adobe Stock

The Trump administration on Thursday proposed opening nearly all U.S. offshore waters to oil and gas drilling, a move aimed at boosting domestic energy production that sparked protests from coastal states, environmentalists and the tourism industry. The effort to open previously off-limits acreage in the Atlantic, Arctic and Pacific oceans comes less than eight years after BP Plc's Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico - the largest in American history. The disaster…

Philippines' Duterte Green Lights China's Sea Research

Rodrigo Duterte (Photo: RUJI ABAT/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO)

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte personally made a decision to let China conduct scientific research off the Philippines’ Pacific coast, his spokesman said on Monday, despite concern among critics about threats to maritime sovereignty. Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said that as chief architect of foreign policy, Duterte allowed China to work with the University of the Philippines in Benham Rise, an area roughly the size of Greece and believed by some scientists to be rich in biodiversity and tuna.

UN -Limit of Continental Shelf

The United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) issued a release stating that the governments of France, Ireland, Spain, and the United Kingdom submitted information on the limits of the continental shelf adjacent to those nations. According to the Joint Submission, evidence indicates that a portion of the seabed underlying the Celtic Sea and the Bay of Biscay more than 200 nautical miles from the shoreline should be considered as part of the continental shelf of the adjacent coastal nation. The submission will be considered at an upcoming session of the CLCS. Source: HK Law

USCG Publishes Outer Continental Shelf Notice of Arrival Rule

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Coast Guard announced Thursday publication in the Federal Register of an outer continental shelf notice of arrival rule designed to enhance maritime domain awareness over outer continental shelf activities. This final rule enhances maritime security and safety by requiring U.S. and foreign vessels, floating facilities and mobile offshore drilling units arriving on and engaging in outer continental shelf activities to report their arrival time and location and information regarding the vessels' voyage, cargo, crew and vessel information. The outer continental shelf includes all submerged lands seaward and outside of the area of lands beneath navigable waters and of which the subsoil and seabed are subject to the jurisdiction and control of the U.S.

CG Proposed Rulemaking: Notice of Arrival, OCS

On June 22 the U.S. Coast Guard announced the publication of a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register to enhance maritime domain safety and security awareness on units and personnel planning to engage in Outer Continental Shelf activities. The proposed rule begins the process of implementing section 109 of the Security and Accountability for Every Port Act of 2006. The rulemaking proposes that owners and operators of United States flag and foreign flag floating facilities, mobile offshore drilling units and vessels be required to submit notice of arrival information to the National Vessel Movement Center prior to engaging in Outer Continental Shelf activities.

Denmark Claims Slice of Arctic Continental Shelf

Photo: WHOI

Denmark has claimed ownership of around 900,000 square kilometers of the continental shelf in the Arctic Ocean by filing documents to United Nations. "The submission of our claim to the continental shelf north of Greenland is a historic and important milestone for the Kingdom of Denmark," minister of foreign affairs Martin Lidegaard said in a statement. Denmark, along with Canada, Norway, Russia and the United States -- is eager to control as much Arctic territory as it can. The region contains 30 percent of the world's undiscovered natural gas and 15 percent of its oil, according to the U.S.

Russian Application to Extend its National Arctic Boundaries

In 2014, Russia plans to submit an application for extension of the boundaries of the continental Arctic Shelf to the special UN Commission after modifying and reinforcing the application by the results of additional research, reports 'Arctic info'. Citing remarks by Denis Khramov, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology of Russia, 'Arctic info' says that Russia had already applied for extension of the territories in the Barents, Bering and Okhotsk seas, as well as in the Central Arctic Ocean. The Commission generally recognized the application as meeting the requirements but requested the Russian Federation to provide an additional proof that the ranges of Lomonosov and Mendeleev…

Aker Wins ExxonMobil Norwegian Shelf Contract

The frame agreement covers engineering, procurement, construction and installation for ExxonMobil's operated assets on the Norwegian continental shelf. The fixed contract duration is five years from 2012 to 2017, with options for two additional five year periods. The frame agreement will be managed from Stavanger. The agreement will cover Balder, Jotun A, Jotun B and Ringhorne assets operated by ExxonMobil on the Norwegian continental shelf. Contract parties are Aker Solutions' subsidiary Aker Solutions MMO AS and ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Norway AS. "We are very proud to be chosen by ExxonMobil to undertake this work on the Norwegian continental shelf," says Tore Sjursen, head of maintenance, modifications and operations in Aker Solutions.

SolstadFarstad Bags Contract for Normand Commander

Normand Commander. Photo: Solstad Farstad ASA

Solstad Farstad ASA (SOFF) has entered a Bareboat contract with Bahia Grande LN S.A for the CSV "Normand Commander” for operation in Argentina. The contract period is 5 years firm with further 1x3 years option, commencement of the contract is February 2018. The commercial terms are confidential between the parties. Last month, Petróleo Brasileiro S.A extended the present contract for RSV “Far Swift” with approximately 1 year, in direct continuation of present contract. Contract is now firm until 4q -2018.

USCG Publishes Offshore Fire, Explosion Guidelines

Deepwater Horizon (USCG photo)

As part of its continuing response to the Deepwater Horizon incident, the U.S. The Federal Register Friday published the U.S. Coast Guard's (USCG) notice of recommended interim voluntary guidelines concerning fire and explosion analyses for mobile offshore drilling units (MODUs) and manned fixed and floating offshore facilities engaged in activities on the U.S. outer continental shelf. This notice is part of the Coast Guard's continuing response to the explosion, fire and sinking of the MODU Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico April 20, 2010.

StratoilHydro Seeks New Opportunities

StatoilHydro has submitted an application for new production licenses both in the Barents Sea and the Norwegian Sea in the 20th licensing round on the Norwegian continental shelf. The application deadline was Nov. “In order to clarify the resource base and realize the full potential of the Norwegian continental shelf, it is crucial to have access to new acreage," says Tim Dodson, head of explorations on the Norwegian continental shelf. StatoilHydro has made many discoveries, but the size of the finds is still limited. “Access to acreage which may form the basis of new independent developments is therefore particularly important. StatoilHydro has met all its fixed drilling commitments from the 19th licensing round awarded in the spring of 2006…

US Senators Introduce Bill to Limit Offshore Drilling

A group of U.S. Senators on the West Coast have introduced a bill Wednesday aiming to prohibit offshore drilling on the outer continental shelf of California, Oregon and Washington.   First introduced in 2010, the West Coast Ocean Protection Act, would amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to permanently block drilling off the U.S. West Coast, stating that "the Secretary of the Interior shall not issue a lease for the exploration, development, or production of oil or natural gas in any area of the outer Continental Shelf off the coast of the State of California, Oregon or Washington."   The legislation was introduced by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.).  

OMB - Completes Review of MODU / OSV Training & Manning Requirements

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) completed its review of RIN 1625-AC10: the draft Coast Guard requirements for training of personnel and manning on mobile offshore drilling units (MODUs) and offshore supply vessels (OSVs) engaged in US outer continental shelf (OCS) activities. With regard to the training of Personnel and Manning on Mobile Offshore Units and Offshore Supply Vessels Engaged in U.S. Outer Continental Shelf Activities, the Coast Guard is considering expanding, consistent with U.S. and international law, its maritime safety training requirements for all personnel working on offshore supply vessels (OSVs) and mobile offshore units (MOUs) engaged in activities on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf, regardless of flag.

Senate: Bill on South Carolina OCS Leasing Debuts

Senator Graham (R-SC) introduced the South Carolina Offshore Drilling Act (S. 3284) to amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to provide for the inclusion of areas off the coast of South Carolina in the outer Continental Shelf leasing program for fiscal years 2012 through 2017, and for other purposes.  Senator Graham issued a press release explaining the measure.  (6/11/12). Source: Bryant's Maritime Consulting Newsletter (http://brymar-consulting.com)

UK Hails Next Cycle of Exploration

The UK's 25th offshore oil and gas licensing round, intended to attract exploration investments and activity across the UK continental shelf, is expected to be launched at the end of January. The Department for Business said it was undertaking a strategic environmental assessment (SEA) of areas of the UK continental shelf (UKCS). The deadline for applications for licenses would be the end of April. Areas to be offered in the licensing have not yet been announced. [Source: http://www.thisisnorthscotland.co.uk]

Trump Offshore Oil Proposal Could Unlock 65 Bln BOE

© donvictori0 / Adobe Stock

The Trump administration's proposal to open up almost all of U.S. offshore waters to oil and gas drilling could unlock up to 65 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe), attracting billions of dollars in investment, consultancy Rystad Energy said. Last week, U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said a draft program would make over 90 percent of the outer continental shelf's total acreage available for leasing to drillers, a national record. "Looking purely at areas that are potentially going to come out of restriction…

Canada Embarks on Arctic Survey Mission

CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent  (File photo: Canadian Coast Guard)

Canada has launched its 2016 Arctic expedition to collect important scientific information to support the nation’s submission on the extended continental shelf in the Arctic Ocean. This year’s survey is a collaborative effort with Sweden, and Danish scientists will also participate in the research. The Canadian icebreaker CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent left Dartmouth on July 22, 2016, for Tromsø, Norway, where it will take on board personnel from Natural Resources Canada’s Geological Survey of Canada…

NOIA Supports House Alternative 5 Year Offshore Lease Plan

“I write to express the support of the National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) for your efforts to expand access to the outer continental shelf (OCS) for oil and gas exploration and development beyond what is offered under the Administration’s 2012-2017 Proposed Final Program (PFP) released on June 28. These efforts are critically important to the industry’s ability to add new jobs, new domestic supplies of oil and natural gas, and new revenues to federal and state treasuries. “As we have stated before, NOIA believes a Five Year Leasing Plan is the most definitive policy action an Administration can take regarding our country’s offshore energy development.

Indian Ocean Offshore Joint Management Zone Actioned

Indian Ocean Islands, Seychelles & Mauritius join forces to manage exploitation of world's largest offshore continental shelf area. With the help of the Commonwealth Secretariat Seychelles and Mauritius have established a joint commission, the first of its kind, to manage an offshore zone comprising 400,000 sq. kilometers of continental shelf. This development comes after their successful joint claim to the continental shelf before the United Nations. This will enable both countries to jointly regulate seabed activities, including exploration for petroleum and minerals, as well as the conservation and management of the living resources of the seabed, reports 'The Information Daily'.

BOEM to Modernize Financial Assurance and Risk Management

Walter Cruickshank, Ph.D., Acting Director

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) today issued an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) on Risk Management, Financial Assurance, and Loss Prevention to seek public input as it considers modernizing its risk management program and bonding regulations for offshore oil and gas operations on the Outer Continental Shelf. This first step initiates a dialogue about BOEM’s existing regulations, which are approximately 20 years old and have not kept pace with offshore infrastructure developments…

Energy Treasure Chest Sea of Okhotsk is Russia's, UN Finds

Sea of Okhotsk area image courtesy of NOAA

A United Nations commission has officially recognized the Sea of Okhotsk enclave, off Russia’s southeastern coast, as part of the country’s continental shelf, informs Ria Novosti citing the Russian minister of natural resources. Russia will get exclusive rights to the area of 52,000 square kilometers, considered by the government to be an Ali Baba’s cave containing reserves of valuable minerals and other natural resources. The recession of Arctic sea ice in recent years due to…

NOIA Echoes Importance of Atlantic Seismic Exploration Hearing

Randall Luthi (Photo: U.S. Department of Interior)

National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) President Randall Luthi issued the following statement on the hearing on seismic exploration on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf held today by the House Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources. “The National Ocean Industries Association appreciates Chairman Lamborn’s leadership on this important hearing on the crucial role of seismic surveys in the development of oil and natural gas for our nation.

Bennett Named BOEM’s Chief for OREP

Jim Bennett (Photo: BOEM)

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Director Abigail Ross Hopper announced James (Jim) F. Bennett as BOEM’s new Chief for the Office of Renewable Energy Programs (OREP), the program responsible for overseeing offshore renewable energy development on the Outer Continental Shelf. Bennett has 35 years of Federal service and has served in a variety of capacities around the Department of the Interior and the Bureau. Most recently, he served as the Chief of the Division of…

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Dec 2017 - The Great Ships of 2017

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