Monday, October 21, 2019

Environmental Enforcement News

Storm Cut 73% of US Offshore Production

© Lukasz Z / Adobe Stock

Tropical Storm Barry has cut 73%, or 1.38 million barrels per day (bpd), of crude oil production in the U.S.-regulated areas of the Gulf of Mexico, the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) said on Sunday.Natural gas output from the northern Gulf of Mexico is down 62%, or 1.7 billion cubic feet per day, BSEE said.A total of 283 production platforms, or 42%, remain shut in the Gulf of Mexico, BSEE said.(Reporting by Erwin Seba Editing by Nick Zieminski)

Trump Administration to Revise Offshore Safety Rules

© Lukasz Z / Adobe Stock

The Trump administration will unveil on Thursday its final plan to roll back offshore drilling safety measures put in place by the Obama administration after the fatal 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the worst in U.S. history, raising concerns by some groups over potential risks to workers and the environment.The Interior Department will announce the final revised rule at an afternoon event in Port Fourchon, a Louisiana seaport that services over 90% of the Gulf of Mexico’s deepwater oil production.Last year…

API Enhances Offshore Safety Standard

Image by ExxonMobil

The American Petroleum Institute (API) released its newest valve standard as part of the industry’s continuous efforts to improve operational safety and environmental protection.According to a release from the agency, the “Specification 6A” governs the design and operations of the critical safety valves at wells used in the offshore and onshore oil and gas industry. The latest edition includes new automatic closure requirements, to ensure additional protection for workers and the…

US GoM Oil Production Off 32% from Storm

A view of the eye of Hurricane Michael taken on October 10, 2018 from the International Space Station currently orbiting Earth. The photo was taken by NASA astronaut Dr. Serena M. Auñón-Chancellor. (Credit: NASA)

U.S. Gulf of Mexico producers have cut oil output by 32 percent and natural gas production by 13 percent as a result of the lingering effects of Hurricane Michael, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) said on Friday, citing reports from 27 companies.The reductions continued as oil and gas companies moved more workers back to production platforms that were evacuated earlier in the week. As of Friday morning, nine platforms were still unoccupied, BSEE said in a daily update…

Storm Shuts Nearly 40% of US GoM Oil Output

(Image: NOAA)

Nearly 40 percent of daily crude oil production was lost from offshore U.S. Gulf of Mexico wells on Tuesday due to platform evacuations and shut-ins ahead of Hurricane Michael.Since Monday, oil producers, including Anadarko Petroleum Corp, BHP Billiton, BP and Chevron Corp , have evacuated personnel from 75 platforms as the storm made its way through the central Gulf on the way to landfall on Wednesday on the Florida Panhandle.Companies turned off daily production of about 670,800 barrels of oil and 726 million cubic feet of natural gas by midday on Tuesday…

GoM Offshore Platforms Evacuated Ahead of Hurricane

(Image: NOAA)

Energy companies on Monday halted nearly a fifth of Gulf of Mexico oil production and evacuated staff from 10 platforms as Hurricane Michael intensified and headed for a path up the eastern U.S. part of the Gulf.BHP Billiton, BP, Equinor and Exxon Mobil Corp were evacuating personnel from oil and gas platforms in the Gulf as forecasters predicted the storm would become a Category 3 hurricane.Companies turned off the daily production flow of 324,190 barrels of oil and nearly 284 million cubic feet of natural gas at midday, according to a survey of producers.

Smarter Energy Policy Will Broaden Offshore Recovery

For the past few years, depressed commodity prices, stricter regulatory requirements and competition from onshore development at home and from other countries offering attractive offshore lease and royalty terms have had severe impacts on new exploration in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Thankfully, the tide appears to finally be turning.In August, Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 251 drew increased competition for offerings and $178 million in high bids, $53 million more than previous sale held in March.

US Gulf Oil Output Takes a Hit from Storm

(Photo: NOAA)

Tropical Storm Gordon forced a cut of 9.36 percent of crude oil production in U.S.-regulated areas of the Gulf of Mexico, slightly more than Tuesday, the U.S.

BSEE Regs Update to Cut Burden on Operators

Courtesy BSEE

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) – incorporating industry innovation, best science, and best practices – is proposing to update regulations covering offshore oil and gas drilling operations to improve reliability, safety, efficiency, and environmental stewardship, and reduce unnecessary burdens on operators. BSEE reviewed the existing regulations in response to Executive and Secretary’s Orders instructing it to identify ways to reduce unnecessary regulatory…

BSEE Approves Arctic Offshore Suspension Requests

Director Scott Angelle Photo BSEE

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) approved suspensions of operations Tuesday in response to requests from the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation Exploration, LLC (AEX) related to AEX’s 20-lease Taktuk Unit, and one additional lease, in the Beaufort Sea. The leases, which are located in the Camden Bay area, approximately 8-25 miles off of the northern shore of the Alaska North Slope, were obtained by AEX from Shell in late 2016. An Alaska Limited-Liability Company formed in 2008…

EnVen bags NOIA Safety in Seas Culture of Safety Award

The National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) presented EnVen Energy Corporation with the 2018 NOIA Safety in Seas (SIS) Culture of Safety Award today during the association’s annual meeting in Washington, DC. EnVen Energy won the Culture of Safety Award in recognition of its remarkable safety culture transformation between 2013 and 2017. David Carmony, Chief Operations Officer for EnVen Energy accepted the award.“EnVen is honored to receive this prestigious safety award from NOIA,” said Carmony.

BSEE Inspects New Shell Appomattox Platform

Photo: BSEE

As Shell finishes construction on its Appomattox Semi-Submersible Platform hull, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement engineers and inspectors signed off on several topsides components during a pre-production inspection March 27, 2018. Royal Dutch Shell plc, 79 percent owner and its partner, Nexen Petroleum Offshore U.S. A. Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of CNOOC ltd, will operate the platform about 80 miles off Louisiana’s coast in the Mississippi Canyon. “The Appomattox will be Shell’s largest floating platform in the Gulf of Mexico…

BSEE Ramps up Quality Assurance Measures

The U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has implemented a new quality assurance process for reviewing and assessing its permitting systems. The new process seeks to reflect on permits issued by the agency and helps inform best practices for offshore energy permitting. The new directive, issued by BSEE’s Office of Offshore Regulatory Programs, requires the agency to conduct periodic review and assessment of permitting processes for consistency, timeliness and efficiency across the various districts and regions within the agency.

BSEE Launches Risk-Based Inspection Program

Risk-based inspections Courtesy BSEE

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) this week announced the implementation of a new Risk-Based Inspection Program that employs a systematic framework to identify facilities and operations that exhibit a high-risk profile. The risk-based inspections supplement BSEE’s existing National Safety Inspection Program. The OCS Lands Act authorizes BSEE to conduct annual scheduled inspections and periodic unannounced inspections of all oil and gas operations. The new risk…

BSEE : Investigation Report into Subsea Jumper Leak

Shell Glider Subsea Jumper Leak courtesy Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement Photo BSEE

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) released the panel investigation report on the May 11, 2016 subsea jumper leak on a platform operated by Shell Offshore, Inc. The leak from Green Canyon Block 248 occurred on Subsea Well #4, resulting in an estimated release of 1,926 barrels of oil. The BSEE investigation panel concluded that the loss of containment in the Glider subsea system was caused by the ductile tensile overload fracture of the Load Limiting Joint of the Glider #4 jumper.

BSEE: Report on Subsea Bolting Technology Released

High-Performance Bolting Technology for Offshore Oil and Natural Gas Operations Photo courtesy of  BSEE

In an effort to address a recurring problem with faulty connectors in critical safety equipment, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) commissioned a National Academy of Engineering study on the matter in September 2016. After 18 months of study, the report entitled “High-Performance Bolting Technology for Offshore Oil and Natural Gas Operations” was published Friday. BSEE sponsored this study to leverage the resources of the National Materials and Manufacturing Board of the National Academies of Sciences…

BSEE Responds to Oil Platform Fatality in the GOM

Image Courtesy  Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement is conducting an investigation into the fatality of a platform worker in an area of the Gulf of Mexico known as West Cameron 215A, about 64 miles south of Lake Charles, Louisiana. The offshore oil and gas operator, Energy Resource Technology GOM, LLC, a subsidiary of Talos Production LLC, reported that the fatality occurred at approximately 10:30 am on Feb. 17, 2018. The deceased worker was involved in replacing firewater piping at the time of the incident. No other personnel were harmed. There was no pollution as a result of the incident.

Trump Proposes $200 Mln Budget for BSEE

(File photo: BSEE)

President Donald Trump today proposed a $199.9 million Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 budget for the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) as the Administration aims to support a ramp up in domestic oil and gas production. The FY 2019 budget request includes an estimate of $67.9 million in offsetting collections. Offsetting collections includes $20.3 million for rental receipts, $3.8 million for cost recoveries and $43.8 million for inspection fees. “The President’s proposed FY 2019 budget will enable BSEE to fulfill its mission to ensure the safe and environmentally sustainable exploration…

NOIA's Randall Luthi Weighs in on BSEE Rules

National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) President Randall Luthi (CREDIT: NOIA)

NOIA Welcomes Opportunity to Comment on Revisions to Offshore Production Safety Systems Rule. “The proposed revisions to the Production Safety Systems Rule mark an integral step in the regulatory reform promised by President Trump, Interior Secretary Zinke and BSEE Director Angelle. Safety experts in the offshore oil and gas industry now have the opportunity to comment on this important regulation. This ‘second bite at the apple’ provides an opportunity for further dialogue, discussion…

Eni Begins Drilling Oil Well in Alaska's Beaufort Sea

(Photo: BSEE)

Italian oil producer Eni this week began drilling a new well in U.S. waters off the north coast of Alaska, becoming the first company to do so since 2015, federal regulators said on Wednesday. The oil and gas firm is working from an artificial island in the Beaufort Sea about three miles off Oliktok Point in the Arctic Ocean. The well is expected to run more than 6 miles (10 km) long. The project could result in 20,000 barrels a day of oil production, according to regulator U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE)…