Associations urge flexibility in proposed Alaska offshore rules

The American Petroleum Institute, National Ocean Industries Association, and US Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy jointly called for more flexibility in two US Department of Interior agencies’ proposed Alaska offshore oil and gas regulations.

The associations urged adoption of regulations that accommodate a broader range of equipment and drilling platforms, and alternatives to relief wells to restore well control in comments submitted May 27 to the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.

The associations also urged BSEE to keep decision-making in individual operators’ hands to maximize operations integrity, and recommended delaying final Alaska offshore requirements until recently proposed blowout prevent and well control rules are finalized.

They recommended that BOEM and BSEE not introduce incremental cuttings regulations that would come in addition to requirements the US Environmental Protection Agency has established for the Arctic, and urged that the proposed Integrated Operating Plan requirement be withdrawn.

“Producing more energy here at home creates new job opportunities and makes us more secure,” said API Upstream and Industry Operations Director Erik Milito. “As President Obama has said, getting oil and gas from the Arctic will limit our reliance on places without America’s strong safety and environmental practices. Arctic oil and gas can be a long-term game changer for American energy security if the regulations are reasonable and grounded in science.”

Contact Nick Snow at

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