Salerno to Take Helm at BSEE
Secretary Jewell Names Former USCG Vice Admiral Brian Salerno Director of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today named former Vice Admiral Brian Salerno as the Director of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), which provides federal oversight for oil and gas operations on the Outer Continental Shelf. Salerno, who retired from the U.S. Coast Guard last year as its Deputy Commandant for Operations, will assume his new position on August 26.
MarineNews INSIGHTS: James Watson, Director BSEE
James A. Watson IV, Director of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE). Interior Secretary Ken Salazar Named Rear Admiral James A. Watson IV as New Director of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) in November of 2011. BSEE was one of the two agencies to succeed the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) on Oct. 1, 2011. Admiral Watson began as BSEE Director on December 1, 2011, and will succeed Michael R. Bromwich. Previously, Watson was better known to maritime stakeholders as the U.S.
Maritime Pollution and Other Legislation Outlook 2012
It has been almost two years since the Deepwater Horizon incident occurred on April 20, 2010. As a result of this incident, although there have been many bills introduced in Congress to address issues raised by this incident, as well as numerous related hearings, Congress was unable to see the way clear to actually enact any pollution-related legislation, or for that matter any substantial maritime legislation in 2011. The following is a summary of the action taken by Congress last year and a perspective on such legislation for 2012.
Offshore Oil Spills & A Culture of Complacency
The dictionary defines “complacency” as tranquil pleasure or self-satisfaction, especially when uncritical or unwarranted. Groups are prone to complacency when events occur as expected over an extended period of time. They let their guard down, assuming that events will continue to turn out as they have in the recent past. It is one of the most important jobs of leaders and managers to prevent their groups from falling into a culture of complacency. Otherwise, the group will be set up for failure, perhaps catastrophic.
Salazar Names RADM Watson BSEE Director
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today named Rear Admiral James A. Watson IV as the Director of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE). BSEE was one of the two agencies to succeed the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) on Oct. 1, 2011. Admiral Watson will begin as BSEE Director on December 1, 2011, and will succeed Michael R. Bromwich. Admiral Watson is currently the U.S. Coast Guard’s Director of Prevention Policy for Marine Safety, Security and Stewardship in Washington, D.C.
Deepwater Horizon Lingers
It has been more than 16 months since the Deepwater Horizon incident on April 20, 2010 which resulted in the deaths of 11 and injuries to 17 men working on the platform and the discharge of approximately five million barrels of oil. The well was finally capped on July 15, 2010 yet the Joint Coast Guard and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) Investigation final report (Joint Investigation) has not been completed and released to the public. In addition…
Corporate Competance Key to Offshore Safety
Andy Woolgar of Subsea 7, President of the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) raises the issue of elevating competence from the marine contracting sector’s offshore workplace to onshore and management personnel and ‘corporate’ competence in his President’s letter in the latest issue of IMCA’s quarterly newsletter ‘Making Waves’. “The standard components of qualifications, skills and experience that are demonstrated and assessed are harder to pin to a corporation,” he writes.
BOEMRE Announces Regulatory Authorities for New Agencies
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) today announced a final rule that separates the federal regulations that govern offshore energy and resource development between the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), effective October 1, 2011. The two bureaus will become operational on that date, completing the reorganization of the former Minerals Management Service (MMS). The organization…
BOEMRE Holds Unannounced Spill Drill
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) announced today that the bureau has completed the first unannounced spill drill to test the new requirements of sub-sea containment capabilities for deepwater wells. Led by BOEMRE, the table-top drill, which took place last week, was a joint exercise with the U.S. Coast Guard, the State of Louisiana, and Petrobras America, Inc. The preliminary results of the drill were positive; a final evaluation will follow when analysis of all documentation is completed.
Secretary Salazar Appoints Bromwich, Beaudreau to Lead New DOI Bureaus
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar named current Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) Director Michael R. Bromwich to lead the newly formed Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) and current BOEMRE Senior Advisor Tommy P. Beaudreau to lead the newly formed Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). Bromwich and Beaudreau have both been highly involved in the creation of the two new bureaus, as well as the Department’s efforts to strengthen the oversight of offshore oil and gas exploration and development.
Long Island Offshore Wind Project: $2.7 to $4.7B
The Long Island–New York City Offshore Wind Collaborative, consisting of Consolidated Edison Company of New York (Con Edison), the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), and the New York Power Authority (NYPA) filed a lease application with the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE). This application furthers Governor Cuomo’s clean energy agenda. Earlier this year, the Governor announced the latest awards under New York's Renewable Portfolio Standard program, providing contracts valued at $191 million to 17 renewable energy projects statewide.
Republic of the Marshall Islands Maritime Administrator Media Statement
"The Republic of the Marshall Islands acknowledges the Commandant's conclusions. The United States Coast Guard's report, with final Commandant action, reinforces many of the findings contained in the flag State’s report released previously," said Bill Gallagher, Senior Deputy Commissioner of Maritime Affairs. "The Marshall Islands looks forward to working closely with the United States and other member States at the International Maritime Organization to implement the lessons that can be learned from this casualty and improve maritime safety going forward," he concluded.
Deepwater Horizon Joint Investigation Team Releases Final Report
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE)/U.S. Coast Guard Joint Investigation Team (JIT) today released its final investigative report on the April 20, 2010, Deepwater Horizon explosion, loss of life, and resulting oil spill. The report is comprised of Volume I, covering the areas of investigation under the jurisdiction of the Coast Guard; Volume II, covering the areas of the investigation under BOEMRE jurisdiction; and a supplement to Volume I – the Final Action Memo from Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp.
BOEMRE Holds Technical Permitting Workshop
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) Director Michael R. Bromwich today announced that the bureau has developed and implemented several new tools to help offshore oil and gas operators improve their exploration and development plan and permit applications. These tools will allow offshore operators to better track their submissions and improve the quality and completeness of their applications, which will decrease processing delays. “We continue to meet with operators individually and in large groups on a frequent basis.
BOEMRE: Proposed Gulf of Mexico Oil and Gas Lease Sale
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) Director Michael R. Bromwich today announced that BOEMRE will hold the first oil and natural gas lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico since the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill. Consistent with steps President Obama announced in May 2011 to expand domestic oil and gas production safely and responsibly, the proposed Western Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 218 is scheduled to be held in New Orleans on December 14, 2011.
Statement from BOEMRE on Loss of Life
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) today confirmed that agency personnel responded on August 16 to a report of a fatality at Energy Resource Technology's High Island (HI) Block A557 Platform A. This is an oil and gas production platform approximately 75 miles offshore Texas, in about 224 feet of water. According to the operator's report, an incident occurred early on the morning of August 16 during a crane lift in which a large piece of equipment was being loaded from the platform to a workboat.
BOEMRE Completes Final Supplemental EIS for Western Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) released a Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for proposed oil and gas Lease Sale 218 in the Western Planning Area in the Gulf of Mexico. The SEIS updates the findings in several previously published environmental reviews covering the Gulf of Mexico. It also incorporates the latest available information pertaining to the Western Gulf of Mexico Planning Area following the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill.
BOEMRE Ups OCSLA and OPA Penalties
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) announced that the maximum civil penalty rate for Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) violations will increase from $35,000 to $40,000 per day; and from $25,000 to $30,000 per day for Oil Pollution Act (OPA) financial responsibility violations. The increases coincide with adjustments in inflation, as required by OCSLA and OPA. The Obama administration has requested that Congress pass legislation to further raise the maximum civil penalty rates beyond the rate of inflation.
BOEMRE Discusses Science in Offshore Energy Development
Stressing the importance of scientific integrity in decision-making regarding offshore energy development, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) Director Michael R. Bromwich today highlighted the role of the bureau’s Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Scientific Committee in evaluating the bureau’s research and scientific agenda. “The Scientific Committee is a vital part of our ongoing efforts to ensure we have the appropriate scientific information available on which to base decisions affecting offshore energy production on the U.S.
BOEMRE Seeking Accident Investigation Board Chief
WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) today announced it is seeking to fill a senior position in the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), one of the two agencies that will replace the former Minerals Management Service on Oct. 1, 2011. The position is being filled now to ensure a smooth transition. This position will serve as the Chief of the Accident Investigation Board, and will be located in the bureau’s office in Herndon, Va.
MWCC Membership Grows
The Marine Well Containment Company (MWCC) announced today that its membership has grown to 10 members at the conclusion of the company’s formation period. The MWCC member companies are now Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Shell, BP, Apache, Anadarko, BHP Billiton, Statoil and Hess. These 10 companies operated approximately 70 percent of deepwater wells drilled in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico between 2007 through 2009. Marty Massey, chief executive officer of MWCC, said, “Our membership includes companies that are active in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.
BOEMRE to Aggressively Recruit Environmental Scientists
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) today launched a focused, nationwide recruitment campaign to fill current and new environmental science positions at the agency. “As we work to elevate the role of science in our decision-making, we must attract top-flight environmental scientists to conduct scientific studies, complete legally-mandated environmental reviews, and fill important positions in environmental compliance,” said BOEMRE Director Michael R. Bromwich.
First FPSO Approved for Gulf of Mexico
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) today provided the final approval necessary for Petrobras America, Inc. to begin oil and natural gas production at its Chinook-Cascade project using a Floating Production Storage Offloading (FPSO) facility. This will be the first time this technology is used in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. BOEMRE approved the project’s Production Safety System permit and Supplemental Deepwater Operating Plan (DWOP), to ensure that stringent safety regulations were met.
“Idle Iron” Mandate to Plug Wells Could Save Some GOM Jobs
Yesterday Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement Director Michael R. Bromwich announced a mandate – effective October 15, 2010 – that oil and gas companies operating in the Gulf of Mexico will be required to set permanent plugs in nearly 3,500 nonproducing wells that are currently completed with a subsurface safety valve in place and dismantle about 650 oil and gas production platforms if they are no longer being used for exploration or production.
Deepwater Joint Investigation Concludes 4th Day
The Deepwater Horizon joint investigation concluded the fourth day of the fourth session of hearings August 26 into the circumstances surrounding the explosion, fire, pollution and sinking of the Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit Deepwater Horizon, with multiple loss of life in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010. The joint investigation has the powers of both convening agencies, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEM), and is co-chaired and staffed by representatives of both agencies.
BOEM Head Meets with Shallow Water Drilling Coalition
Prior to start of the eighth and final Public Forum on Offshore Drilling in Lafayette, La., Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEM) Director Michael R. Bromwich met this morning with Louisiana Lt. Governor Scott Angelle and members of the shallow drilling coalition to discuss the status of approval of Applications for Permits to Drill (APDs). BOEM senior leadership has held several meetings (on a weekly basis for many weeks) with companies who are seeking to explore, develop and produce oil or gas in shallow water.