Outer Continental Shelf

It has long been established that the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) is under federal jurisdiction.  To this end, in 1953, Congress enacted the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) to govern activities on the OCS.  A key provision of the OCSLA provides that, while federal law generally applies, the adjacent State’s laws shall apply “[t]o

On May 7, 2019, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) issued a Notice to Lessees and Operators (NTL No. 2019-G01) regarding Suspensions of Production (SOPs) and Suspensions of Operations (SOOs).  This new NTL supersedes NTLs No. 2000-G17 and No. 2011-N10 and includes additional clarification on what lessees can and should do

On June 18, 2018, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) issued a Marine Safety Alert regarding their discovery of over 100 unwearable Type 1 Personal Floatation Devices (PFDs) during multiple inspections of different vessels. As pictured below, the PFD straps were fused to the side of the PFD.  Due to the fused strap, a user

In an important case of first impression, the federal Fifth Circuit has just affirmed that contractors cannot be criminally prosecuted for violations of various safety regulations under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA). See United States v. Moss, No. 16-30561 (5th Cir. Sept. 27, 2017).  This decision has broad implications—both in the criminal

On June 9, 2017, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) issued a final rule amending certain regulations in 30 CFR Part 250 to extend the time that an Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) lease remains in effect after cessation of production or other operations to one year.

Under the previous regulations, an OCS lease

The Department of Interior continues to flex its muscle against prior OCS lessees to require them to complete decommissioning left unfulfilled by later parties. On February 2, 2016, the United States Department of the Interior, Office of Hearings and Appeals, Interior Board of Land Appeals (the “IBLA”) affirmed BSEE’s order directing Anadarko Petroleum Corporation to

Here’s a brief follow up on the Offshore Financial Assurance Forum that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) held last month.  On February 26, new BOEM Director, Abigail Ross Hopper, along with several other BOEM representatives, took time to answer stakeholders’ questions about BOEM’s proposal to update its risk management program for oil and

On November 7, 2014, I posted an article about Century Exploration New Orleans LLC’s request for the Supreme Court to review a decision of the Federal Circuit affirming the federal Claims Court and ruling that the United States could impose new burdens on existing OCS leases.  If the decision were left to stand, I wrote,

Century Exploration New Orleans, LLC has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in on an issue that could have profound implications for companies with oil and gas leases on the outer continental shelf (OCS)—more specifically, on the power of the government to issue new regulations that impose additional burdens on existing oil and gas