Effective May 18, 2023, the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) will no longer proceed in reverse chronological order for Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) oil, gas, and sulfur predecessor lessees, owners of operating rights, and grant holders when requiring these entities to perform their accrued decommissioning obligations if the current lessees, owners, or holders have failed to perform.
Issued by the BSEE on April 18, 2023, a final Rule clarifies decommissioning responsibilities of right-of-use and easement (RUE) grant holders and formalizes the BSEE’s policies on performance by predecessors ordered to decommission OCS facilities.
After considering submitted written comments from interested parties, BSEE has decided to withdraw its proposal that would have established the reverse chronological order constraint on BSEE’s pursuit of predecessor lessees, owners of operating rights, and grant holders for performance of their accrued decommissioning obligations. The BSEE also chose not to finalize appeal bonding requirements that had been previously proposed.
Among other specifics, the new Rule explains the following after considering comments received:
- The timeframe for responding to decommissioning orders
- Requirements for a surety bond to stay the effectiveness of decommissioning orders during an appeal
- The reverse chronological order process to issue predecessor decommissioning orders
- RUE grant holders’ accruing liabilities
- Definitions of the terms “decommissioning,” “obstructions,” “predecessor” and “facility”
- Who is responsible and liable for decommissioning obligations
- What decommissioning applications and reports to submit and when
- Timeframe for removing platforms and other facilities
To read the comments received, click here.
The BSEE derives its authority primarily from the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, which authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to regulate oil and gas exploration, development and production operations on the OCS.
To carry out its responsibilities, the BSEE regulates offshore oil and gas operations to enhance the safety of exploration for and development of oil and gas on the OCS, and ensure that those operations protect the environment, conserve the natural resources of the OCS, and implement advancements in technology.
Guice Offshore Vessels — Part of the Offshore Oil and Gas Industry Toolbox
Guice Offshore’s mini supply vessel fleet is a trusted partner in offshore oil and gas operations. Our support vessels play a necessary and critical role in the offshore exploration and production (E&P) environment and are utilized in almost every phase of the extraction process from survey and drilling, to production and abandonment.
Guice Offshore (GO) maintains a strong presence in the northern Gulf of Mexico E&P sector. our vessels are most often employed in support of Platform and Pipeline Operations (production activities, logistics, diving, ROV, inspection, maintenance, repair, plug and abandonment). We also participate in certain early phases of operations like surveying.
Geotechnical and Geologic Ocean Seabed Surveys
Utilizing vessels like Guice Offshore’s 150 ft. DP1 GO Liberty or the 170 ft DP1 GO Discovery, geotechnical companies can perform detailed survey activities for their oil and gas industry clients, such as seabed mapping, soil investigations and core sampling.
Depending on their equipment installed, Guice Offshore vessels can work in a variety of coastal or offshore environments and water depths. Open cargo decks, ample accommodations, excellent maneuverability and station-keeping, all coupled with an efficient cost of operations, makes the GO fleet a consistently reliable choice for the offshore oil and gas industry.
Oil Rig Inspection, Maintenance and Repair (IMR)
GO vessels facilitate the inspection, maintenance and/or repair of offshore pipelines, subsea structures, floating and fixed platforms and drilling rigs in a range of water depths. Our IMR support activities extend well beyond traditional oil and gas roles, and can include any number of industries such as offshore wind turbines, power cables, subsea or surface commissioning of structures, and sustainable energy equipment.
Often, IMR activities are conducted with Remotely Operated Vehicles (“ROVs”). Our GO Fleet possesses the accommodations, dynamic positioning (DP) station-keeping technology and removable side cargo rails necessary to support these operations.