Court order represents more delays for drilling programs off California

Operators that desire to conduct development and exploratory drilling programs off California face more delays.US Dist. Judge Claudia Wilken ordered the US Minerals Management Service and California Coastal Commission June 20 to review lease suspensions for 36 undeveloped federal leases off California under provisions of the Coastal Zone Management Act.MMS issued new "directed suspensions" for the nine units that contain the 36 leases and for one nonunitized lease while it works to comply with the judge's order. The new suspensions replace suspensions of operations issued in November 1999.MMS on June 15, 2001, had issued a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for proposed deline...

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