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BSEE Gives Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Amending O&G Safety Operations

On December 29, the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (“BSEE”) published a notice of proposed rulemaking (“NPRM”) (82 FR 61703) that would amend the 2016 rules which established Oil and Gas Production Safety Operations on the Outer Continental Shelf. Comments are due by January 29, 2108. The proposed rule would “fortify the Administration’s objective of facilitating energy dominance through encouraging increased domestic oil and gas production by reducing unnecessary burdens on stakeholders while maintaining or advancing the level of safety and environmental protection.” Since the 2016 rules took effect, the BSEE “has become aware that certain provisions … created potentially burdensome requirements to oil and natural gas production operators on the OCS without significantly increasing safety of the workers or protection of the environment.” The NPRM proposes changes that will clarify reporting requirements, production safety and design requirements, make certain conforming changes with the regulatory framework, update the incorporated edition of standards referenced in subpart H of the rules, and revise the 2016 requirements that operators obtain an independent third-party certification that each item of safety and pollution prevention equipment “is designed to function in the most extreme conditions to which it will be exposed.”