Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) Director Michael R. Bromwich announced that the bureau is putting in place significant improvements in the oil and gas permit application process. These improvements include the publication of a permit application checklist to assist offshore oil and gas operators in submitting complete applications to drill; the implementation of completeness checks by BOEMRE personnel before significant staff time is spent reviewing the application; and the development of clear permit review priorities that will expedite agency reviews.
"We are constantly looking for ways to create a smarter, more efficient, and more transparent permit review process," said Director Bromwich. "Our goal is to make the process of submitting permit applications easier, reduce the time it takes to review permits and improve BOEMRE's communication with operators during the permit review process. We will continue to search for additional ways to improve our processes without in any way modifying or relaxing the more stringent safety and environmental rules we have implemented over the past year."
Key improvements that are being implemented include:
o Permits for ongoing operations, such as sidetracks or deeper exploration of an existing well;
o Applications deemed complete; and
o If staff time allows, applications that are not deemed complete, such as those missing a required containment plan or the necessary professional engineer certifications, may begin to be processed. This category also includes permit applications without an approved exploration or development plan.
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