Turn to the nation's most objective and informative daily environmental news resource to learn how the United States and key players around the world are responding to the environmental...
Deepwater drilling operators will be required to submit a signed statement that asserts they have complied with all regulations, including recently imposed drilling safety rules, according to a Notice to Lessees issued Nov. 8 and effective immediately.
“Today's announcement is an important step in our continued efforts to ensure oil and gas producers operate responsibly,” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said in a statement. “This will serve to confirm that oil and gas companies are accountable and responsible for their operations as we work to strengthen safety, oversight, and environmental protection at every stage of the drilling process.”
The corporate compliance statements, which will be required by operators whose operations include the use of subsea blowout preventers or surface blowout preventers on floating facilities, must be submitted with each application for a well permit, according to Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Enforcement, and Regulation.
Operators will be required to state they will comply with the Increased Safety Measures for Energy Development on the Outer Continental Shelf, offshore drilling safety requirements that were put into effect as part of an emergency rulemaking process published as an interim final rule in the Federal Register Oct. 14 (75 Fed. Reg. 63,346; 41 ER 2205, 10/1/10).
The regulation prescribes proper cementing and casing practices and the appropriate use of drilling fluids to maintain wellbore integrity, which is critical to preventing a blowout. The regulation also strengthens oversight of devices designed to shut off the flow of oil and gas, primarily the blowout preventer and its components, including remotely operated vehicles, shear rams, and pipe rams.
The Notice to Lessees also confirmed that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Enforcement, and Regulation will be evaluating whether each operator has submitted adequate information to “demonstrate that it has access to, and can deploy, subsea blowout containment resources that would be significant enough to promptly respond to a deepwater blowout out or other loss of well control.”
“It is extremely important for operators to provide assurances that they comply with all rules and regulations that apply to offshore drilling, and that they would have access to equipment needed to handle a deepwater blowout,” Bureau Director Michael R. Bromwich said in a statement. “These are obvious but important elements of our overall review and evaluation of deepwater drilling permit applications.”
The department said the notice “advances the increased oversight” directed by Salazar following his Oct. 12 decision to lift a moratorium on deepwater drilling (41 ER 2322, 10/15/10).
“I look forward to continued discussions with industry representatives--from the large, multinational companies to the smaller, independent operators--as we work together to ensure the safe and environmentally responsible development of the Outer Continental Shelf,” Bromwhich said.
By Ari Natter
The Interior Department's Notice to Lessees on corporate compliance statements is available at http://www.gomr.boemre.gov/homepg/regulate/regs/ntls/2010NTLs/10-n10.pdf.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)