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U.S. makes the 1st step towards decommissioning of oil & gas infrastructure off California

The government started the process of permanently ending operations at 8 platforms and their associated pipelines

U.S. makes the 1st step towards decommissioning of oil & gas infrastructure off California

California, July 27 - Neftegaz.RU. The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) invited the public to comment on a proposal to conduct a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for decommissioning oil & gas platforms and other facilities on the Pacific Outer Continental Shelf.

The public will have an opportunity to submit comments for 45 days.
The agency expects to release a draft environmental review in February 2022 and the final in June 2022.
Mike Mitchell, acting BSEE Pacific Region Director, said:
  • This is the 1st step toward a robust and efficient review of anticipated applications for decommissioning oil & gas infrastructure off the California coast
The preliminary proposed action is to authorize applications for complete removal of platforms and other facilities, including pipelines, and clearing the seafloor of all obstructions created by the lease or right-of-way operations on the Pacific OCS off the Southern California coast.

According to the bureau of safety, there are currently 23 oil & gas platforms, installed between the late 1960s and 1990, and all are subject to eventual decommissioning.

Currently, 8 oil & gas platforms no longer produce oil & gas and are located on terminated leases that no longer allow resumption of production.
BSEE expects to receive decommissioning applications for these platforms and associated pipelines and other facilities in the near term.

The Center for Biological Diversity, a national non-profit conservation organization, welcomed the move.
Kristen Monsell, legal director of the oceans program at the organization, said:
  • We’re glad to see this announcement and hope it signals the end of drilling off California’s coast
  • The oil industry has wreaked havoc in our ocean for far too long
  • It’s time for companies to clean up the mess of platforms and pipelines that litter our beautiful marine environment
The announcement comes as the Biden administration is reviewing the government’s leasing and permitting practices for fossil fuel development on federal lands and waters.
Monsell noted:
  • We strongly agree with the Biden administration that getting these rigs completely out of the water is the best way to protect California’s fragile coastal ecosystems

Author: Nermina Kulovic

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