The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
(BOEM) recently issued a Notice to Lessees and Operators (NTL) detailing how
the bureau plans to update its financial assurance and risk-management
requirements for companies holding oil and gas leases in federal waters to ensure lessees can cover the decommissioning costs of their facilities and that taxpayers will never foot the bill.
The updated requirements include improved procedures to determine whether lessees can fulfill the obligations of their leases, all of which include requirements to remove all facilities and return sites to their original state.
“BOEM’s financial-assurance regulations need to take into account current industry practices,” Hopper said. “We must ensure the U.S. taxpayer never pays to decommission an OCS facility and that the environment is protected. Managing risk in the early stages of a lease will provide lessees negotiated solutions that improve business certainty and leverage existing company strengths.”