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  1. Details of OCS Interim Final Rule Released

    Friday, October 8, 2010 5:06 pm by

    In the wake of the Macondo blowout, on May 27, 2010, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar issued a report to President Obama, providing numerous recommendations intended to improve the safety of offshore oil and gas drilling operations on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) (the “Safety Measures Report”).  On June 8, 2010, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) (formerly the Minerals Management Service) issued a notice to lessees, NTL No. 2010-05, “Increased Safety Measures for Energy Development on the OCS,” which implemented the immediate recommendations from the Safety Measures Report.

    BOEMRE released a fact sheet announcing an interim final Drilling Safety Rule on September 30, 2010.  However, the text of the rule was not made available until October 7. (more…)


  2. BOEMRE’s Final SEMS Rule Substantially Modifies the Original Proposal, Inviting Legal Challenge

    Wednesday, October 6, 2010 2:00 pm by

    The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) announced a final Safety and Environmental Management System (SEMS) rule on September 30, 2010.  The Minerals Management Service (MMS) originally proposed a SEMS rule in a Federal Register notice published on June 17, 2009.  The proposal would have required operators to develop SEMS programs for oil and gas activities conducted on the Outer Continental Shelf.  MMS proposed that SEMS programs would need to address four elements:  (i) Hazards Analysis, (ii) Management of Change, (iii) Operating Procedures, and (iv) Mechanical Integrity.  MMS assumed in the proposal that, of the 130 operators to which the rule would apply, the 60 operators that already have SEMS programs would not incur any new costs.

    The fact sheet issued by BOEMRE announcing the final SEMS rule indicates that 13 elements of the American Petroleum Institute’s Recommended Practice 75 will be mandatory.  These mandatory elements are: (more…)


  3. BOEMRE Releases Offshore Interim Rule and New Safety Regulations

    Tuesday, October 5, 2010 6:40 pm by

    The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) has released fact sheets for two new rules that impact offshore drilling:  the Drilling Safety Rule and the Workplace Safety Rule.  The announcement came on September 30, 2010.

    The Drilling Safety Rule is an interim final rule that will be effective immediately upon publication in the Federal Register, probably in the next several days.  The rule creates requirements that address well bore integrity and well control equipment and procedures.  It is based on recommendations provided in Secretary Salazar’s May 27, 2010 report to the President and codifies the requirements stated in Notice to Lessees No. 2010-N05 (NTL-05).  BOEMRE will accept public comments on the rule for 60 days after the rule’s publication.  Thereafter, the agency will determine whether to publish a new rule modified to address comments received or to confirm the interim rule as final without additional changes. (more…)


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