The 13 firms whose deepwater drilling activities were suspended by last year’s deepwater drilling moratorium may resume work, according to the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE).
The announcement allows the firms to resume previously approved activities without the need to submit revised exploration or development plans for supplemental National Environmental Policy Act (Nepa) reviews. However, the firms must comply with BOEMRE’s new policies and regulations before resuming activities.
BOEMRE director Michael Bromwich said the bureau was substantially enhancing its environmental reviews and analysis under NEPA.
The notice includes compliance with new regulations and information requirements in Notices to Lessees N06 and N10, and the Interim Final Safety Rule.
The firms will require new exploration and development drilling operations to be conducted under new or revised plans subject to appropriate NEPA analysis, under the guidance of BOEMRE.