Comment Period Extension For ANPR Expected Distribution Date: Week Of October 6 – 10, 2014

Release Date

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced today that it is extending the public comment period for the recently issued Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) on Risk Management, Financial Assurance, and Loss Prevention. BOEM is seeking public input in an effort to modernize its program and regulations for offshore operations on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). The extension of the comment period has been issued in response to requests by several stakeholder groups.

The bureau will allow an additional 30days for the public to submit information and comments.

The August publication of the ANPR began a 60-day comment period. With the extension, BOEM will accept comments until November 17, 2014.

"This ANPR initiates a dialogue about the bureau's existing regulations, which were put in place over 20 years ago and have not kept pace with offshore technology or the evolution of the industry," said BOEM Acting Director, Walter Cruickshank.

Existing regulations require lessees on the OCS to provide bonds or other alternative forms of financial assurance to cover current and future operations, such as decommissioning oil and gas infrastructure. Since the current bonding requirements were set nearly a quarter of a century ago, offshore operations have changed significantly, such as increased scale and complexity of deepwater and subsea operations, and the costs of decommissioning have dramatically increased.

"BOEM recognizes the need to update its requirements and we look forward to continuing the dialogue with stakeholders on how to develop a program that works for a wide variety of operators and also gives us the tools to identify, prioritize, and manage the risks associated with industry activities on the OCS," Cruickshank said.

The ANPR - Extension of Public Comment Period will be published in the Federal Register on October 9, 2014 and available for public viewing the day before.

After the comment period closes, BOEM plans on continuing its outreach and will host a stakeholder workshop to have additional discussions concerning potential changes to its regulations.