BOE seeks public comments on CX policy review

Nick Snow
OGJ Washington Editor

WASHINGTON, DC, Oct. 8 -- The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Research, and Enforcement began on Oct. 7 to seek public comments on its review of using categorical exclusions (CXs) in decisions involving development of US Outer Continental Shelf resources. It will accept comments through Nov. 8.

BOE announced on Aug. 16 that it would review its CX practices to determine if they are consistent with recommendations by the White House Council on Environmental Quality after CEQ issued a report on the matter. BOE Director Michael R. Bromwich directed the agency to restrict offshore CXs to activities involving limited environmental risk while it conducted the review.

BOE’s predecessor agency, the US Minerals Management Service, and the US Bureau of Land Management, which manages onshore federal resources, issued CXs for several years when they determined that an application covered a site that had already undergone a full review under provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act.

US Interior Sec. Ken Salazar announced on Jan. 6, as part of a series of federal onshore leasing reforms, that he would not let them be issued in cases that involve “extraordinary circumstances” such as impacts to protected species, historic or cultural resources, or human health and safety in accordance with CEQ guidelines. He subsequently extended his order to MMS and the federal offshore holdings it manages.

In its notice seeking comments, which was scheduled to appear in the Nov. 8 Federal Register, BOE said DOI identified NEPA procedures, which were promulgated as regulations on Oct. 15, 2008, that normally would not have, or be expected to have, significant individual or cumulative impacts and therefore would not require an environmental assessment or impact statement. It also identified extraordinary circumstances which nullify uses of CXs in particular circumstances.

BOE said it has identified additional oil and gas activities which would qualify for CXs, including surveying, mapping, geophysical mapping and other resource evaluations which do not use explosives; collection of geological data not involving drilling beyond 50 ft of consolidated rock or 300 ft of unconsolidated rock; and acquisition of existing geological or geophysical data from otherwise private exploration ventures.

Well logging, digital modeling, inventories of existing wells, installation of recording devices in wells, establishment and installation of any research or monitoring devices, test or exploration drilling included in a project previously subject to the NEPA process, insignificant revisions to the approved 5-year leasing program, and prerelease planning steps such as a call for information and area identification also would qualify, BOE said.

It noted that MMS reviewed and revised its CX policies several times since the late 1970s, when they were first developed, and initiated this review to assure compliance with NEPA requirements and CEQ guidelines.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

Related Articles

Aussie, Timor-Leste regulators terminate Timor Gap permit

07/17/2015 Regulators in Australia and Timor-Leste have now formally terminated Timor Gap production-sharing contract JPDA 06-103, which leaves Australian com...

Nexen pipeline leaks 5,000 cu m of emulsion in Alberta

07/17/2015 Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) reported that a Nexen Energy ULC pipeline has leaked 5,000 cu m of emulsion—a mixture of bitumen, produced water, an...

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude oil prices drops below $51/bbl

07/17/2015 Light, sweet crude oil prices for August delivery dropped modestly to settle at just under $51/bbl on the New York July 16, but Brent crude oil Aug...

API: US petroleum demand rose in June, second quarter

07/16/2015 Total US petroleum deliveries, a measure of demand, increased 4.2% from June 2014 to average 19.6 million b/d last month. In the second quarter, de...

ConocoPhillips plans further capex reduction for deepwater exploration

07/16/2015 ConocoPhillips reported plans to further reduce its capital expenditures for deepwater exploration, with the “most significant reductions” coming f...

DOE official: LNG exports could be limited by silt-clogged waterways, ports

07/16/2015 Silt, which is increasingly filling US waterways and ports, potentially could limit US LNG exports if it is not dredged soon, a top US Department o...

Fitch notes increase in energy-default rate

07/16/2015 Recent actions of two exploration and production companies have pushed the trailing 12-month energy default rate among issuers of high-yield bonds ...

ENOC trims Turkmen plan in Dragon takeover

07/16/2015 Emirates National Oil Co. Ltd. (ENOC), Dubai, will lower target oil production from the Cheleken area offshore Turkmenistan after acquiring full co...

KMI to buy Shell’s stake in Elba LNG project for $630 million

07/16/2015 Kinder Morgan Inc., Houston, has reached a deal with Royal Dutch Shell PLC to purchase 100% of Shell’s equity interest in Elba Liquefaction Co. LLC...
White Papers

2015 Global Engineering Information Management Solutions Competitive Strategy Innovation and Leadership Award

The Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global...
Sponsored by

Three Tips to Improve Safety in the Oil Field

Working oil fields will always be tough work with inherent risks. There’s no getting around that. Ther...
Sponsored by

Pipeline Integrity: Best Practices to Prevent, Detect, and Mitigate Commodity Releases

Commodity releases can have catastrophic consequences, so ensuring pipeline integrity is crucial for p...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Digital Asset Approach - Defining a new era of collaboration in capital projects and asset operations

There is constant, intensive change in the capital projects and asset life cycle management. New chall...
Sponsored by

Transforming the Oil and Gas Industry with EPPM

With budgets in the billions, timelines spanning years, and life cycles extending over decades, oil an...
Sponsored by

Asset Decommissioning in Oil & Gas: Transforming Business

Asset intensive organizations like Oil and Gas have their own industry specific challenges when it com...
Sponsored by

Squeezing the Green: How to Cut Petroleum Downstream Costs and Optimize Processing Efficiencies with Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Solutions

As the downstream petroleum industry grapples with change in every sector and at every level, includin...
Sponsored by

7 Steps to Improve Oil & Gas Asset Decommissioning

Global competition and volatile markets are creating a challenging business climate for project based ...
Sponsored by
Available Webcasts

On Demand

OGJ's Midyear Forecast 2015

Fri, Jul 10, 2015

This webcast is to be presented by OGJ Editor Bob Tippee and Senior Economic Editor Conglin Xu.  They will summarize the Midyear Forecast projections in key categories, note important changes from January’s forecasts, and examine reasons for the adjustments.

register:WEBCAST


Predictive Analytics in your digital oilfield - Optimize Production Yield and Reduce Operational Costs

Tue, Jul 7, 2015

Putting predictive analytics to work in your oilfield can help you anticipate failures, plan and schedule work in advance, eliminate emergency work and catastrophic failures, and at the same time you can optimize working capital and improve resource utilization.  When you apply analytic capabilities to critical production assets it is possible to reduce non-productive time and increase your yield.

Learn how IBM's analytics capabilities can be applied to critical production assets with the goal of reducing non-productive time, increasing yield and reducing operations costs.

register:WEBCAST


Cognitive Solutions for Upstream Oil and Gas

Fri, Jun 12, 2015

The oil & gas sector is under pressure on all sides. Reserves are limited and it’s becoming increasingly expensive to find and extract new resources. Margins are already being squeezed in an industry where one wrong decision can cost millions. Analyzing data used in energy exploration can save millions of dollars as we develop ways to predict where and how to extract the world’s massive energy reserves.

This session with IBM Subject Matter Experts will discuss how IBM Cognitive Solutions contribute to the oil and gas industry using predictive analytics and cognitive computing, as well as real time streaming for exploration and drilling.

register:WEBCAST


The Alternative Fuel Movement: Four Need-to-Know Excise Tax Complexities

Thu, Jun 4, 2015

Discussion on how to approach, and ultimately embrace, the alternative fuel market by pulling back the veil on excise tax complexities. Taxes may be an aggravating part of daily operations, but their accuracy is crucial in your path towards business success.

register:WEBCAST


Emerson Micro Motion Videos

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected