Outer Continental Shelf

News & Analysis as of

Avangrid Wins Latest BOEM Auction for Offshore North Carolina Lease and Moves Towards Full Commercial Lease

Following an auction on March 16, 2017, the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) named Avangrid Renewables, LLC (Avangrid) the provisional winner of the auction. Avangrid, majority owned...more

Fifth Circuit Dismisses False Claims Act Suit Alleging Violation Of Offshore Regulations

In Abbott v. BP, the plaintiffs alleged that BP had falsely certified to compliance with regulatory requirements pertaining to the engineering of the Atlantis Platform, a semi-submersible floating production facility capable...more

Developers Submit Unsolicited Requests for Wind Leases Offshore Massachusetts and New York

On March 10, 2017, the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) posted four unsolicited applications for wind project leases on the Outer Continental Shelf. PNE Wind U.S.A., Inc. has filed three...more

Cabotage Or Sabotage? Controversial Proposal By CBP To Reverse Course On Decades-Old Policy Regarding Foreign Flag Vessels In Gulf...

In a sweeping move that has been widely and vociferously praised by supporters and passionately decried by opponents, the Customs and Border Patrol Agency (CBP) on the second-to-last day of the Obama administration’s tenure,...more

SEMS and SMS

Following on this week’s series regarding the new batch of four USCG-BSEE MOUs, this post will discuss the fourth, concerning safety systems. Perhaps one of the most confounding and critical areas of overlap between the...more

Incident Notification & Investigations

Following on this week’s series regarding the new batch of four USCG-BSEE MOUs, this post will discuss the third, concerning incident reporting. Hand in glove with the civil penalties and SEMS/SMS MOUs (the latter to be...more

Oil Discharge Planning, Preparedness and Response (“PPP MOU”)

Following on this week’s series regarding the new batch of four USCG-BSEE MOUs, this post will discuss the second, concerning oil spill planning, preparedness and response. The second of the January 17, 2017 MOUs...more

“One Gulf, One Standard” Evolves – USCG and BSEE Sign Four New MOUs in Efforts to Clarify Their Regulatory Roles on the OCS

For the past few years, this blog has attempted to chart the fraught and developing regulatory overlap between the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and Bureau of Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) in the fallout from the...more

Outer Continental Shelf Leasing: BOEM Withdraws Controversial Sole Liability Orders

On February 17, 2017, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (“BOEM”), which manages oil and gas leasing in the Outer Continental Shelf, announced that it is withdrawing previously-issued orders to sole liability property...more

Senator John Kennedy’s Letter to President Donald Trump: A First Step in Reviving the Oil & Gas Industry in Louisiana

In December of 2016, Republican John Kennedy won the United States Senate runoff election in Louisiana. On the campaign trail, Senator Kennedy promised to do his part in strengthening the declining oil and gas industry in...more

Kitty Hawk NC offshore wind auction set

U.S. plans to auction ocean sites off North Carolina for commercial offshore wind energy development advanced last week, as the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management scheduled a commercial lease sale for the sites for...more

BOEM Suspends Implementation of New Financial Assurance Requirements

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced Friday, January 6, that it would suspend the implementation of the new financial assurance requirements relating to decommissioning obligations of lessees’ facilities on...more

“Mighty Difference Between a Living Thump and a Dead Thump” – BSEE’s “Universal Thump” Invalidated; District Court Holds that BSEE...

In a dramatic reversal of a prior and equally dramatic, watershed administrative decision of the Interior Bureau of Land Appeals (IBLA) upholding the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement’s (BSEE) regulatory...more

California Sues Federal Government Alleging Inadequate Environmental Review of Offshore Drilling Proposal

In one of her last major legal actions before leaving office as California’s Attorney General, Kamala Harris, along with the California Coastal Commission (jointly the “Attorney General”), filed suit against various federal...more

Policy Predictions: How will Trump's 100-Day Plan Affect U.S. Energy Industry?

The American landscape is littered with failed prognostications about what new Presidential administrations would or would not ? and could or could not ? accomplish. Every new President faces the challenge of transforming...more

Environmental Groups Sue Federal Agencies Again in Unending Legal Battle Over Offshore Oil Development

On November 11, 2016, the Environmental Defense Center (“EDC”) and Santa Barbara Channelkeeper jointly filed suit against several federal agencies including the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and the Bureau of Safety and...more

Offshore Crewing Requirements: Could It Make Things Worse?

It has been years (2009) since I last wrote an article discussing the availability of U.S. citizens to work offshore in support of oil and gas projects during a downturn in the economy. And now, it is even worse. With the...more

NY offshore wind lease auction set

The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has issued a Final Sale Notice, setting December 15 as the date for auctioning the right to lease sites in federal waters off New York for commercial offshore wind...more

Russia Moves on the Regulation of its Arctic Continental Shelf Resources

In the course of the meeting held in September 2016 between President Putin and the Russian government, Mr Sergey Donskoy, the Minister for Natural Resources and the Environment, announced that it had been decided to impose a...more

Offshore Companies Face Surge in BSEE Enforcement Actions and Penalties

In recent years, offshore companies have witnessed a marked uptick in the number of enforcement actions undertaken by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE). Operators face more BSEE inspections, Incidents...more

Kitty Hawk NC offshore wind leasing

The U.S. Department of the Interior has proposed leasing federal ocean space offshore North Carolina for commercial offshore wind development. On August 12, 2016, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced a proposed...more

OCSLA Coverage for Land Injuries Has Limits

James Baker, Jr. v. Director, OWCP; Gulf Island Marine Fabricators, LLC, U.S. Fifth Circuit No. 15-60634 (August 19, 2016). In this case the Court of Appeals affirmed the Administrative Law Judge’s (ALJ) determination that...more

CBP Increases Jones Act Enforcement

Last month, United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced the creation of the National Jones Act Division of Enforcement (JADE). JADE will work with CBP and industry partners on coastwise trade, with an end goal...more

Another Step Toward North Carolina Offshore Wind: Proposed Offshore Wind Farm Lease Announced

The U.S. Department of the Interior has just announced the next step in the years-long process toward the development of wind energy facilities off the coast of North Carolina. In a notice published in the Federal Register...more

The New JADE: Energizing Jones Act Enforcement

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently announced the creation of a new enforcement division in the New Orleans Field Office focused solely on the Jones Act: The National Jones Act Division of Enforcement...more

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