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Exploration and Development Plans

BOEM’s oil and gas energy programs fall roughly into three categories: Scheduling oil and gas lease sales; holding lease sales and managing the subsequent leases; and reviewing exploration and development plans of private industry operators.

To initiate any activity on that block, the company must first submit a plan to BOEM. These plans include:

  • Plans to explore a block for resources; and
  • Plans to develop and produce oil and/or gas resources known to exist.

BOEM specialists then analyze and approve or disapprove these plans based on our assessment of their safety and impacts to the environment.

In addition, when production ends, a company is required to decommission its facilities and restore the site to the same conditions that existed before the process started. Environmental review and analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) is required at each stage of the process.