CATEGORIZED | News

BOEMRE ordered to process Ensco permit applications within 30 days

Posted on 22 February 2011

Late last week, Ensco won a motion for a preliminary injunction against the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE), which has been ordered to take action on five of Ensco’s pending drilling permit applications within 30 days and to report its compliance to the court.

In granting the motion for a preliminary injunction, US District Court Judge Martin Feldman noted that Ensco has shown:

• A substantial likelihood of prevailing on the merits;

• A substantial threat of irreparable injury if the injunction is not granted;

• The threatened injury outweighs any harm that will result to the non-movant if the injunction is granted; and

• The injunction will not disserve the public interest.

The judge noted that, under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, the government is under a duty to act by either granting or denying a permit application within a reasonable time. “Not acting at all is not a lawful option,” the ruling stated.

The court also agreed with Ensco that 30 days is “a common sense marker” of the speed at which applications should be approved or denied – the same as the 30-day time period Congress has mandated in which the BOEMRE must act on exploration plans.

Before Macondo, permits were processed, on average, in two weeks’ time. Yet five permits relating to Ensco’s deepwater rigs have been pending from four to nine months – a time frame the judge called “unreasonable, unacceptable and unjustified.”

“As the first anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon disaster draws near, any reason that would have justified delays has, under a rule of reason, expired. Beginning to process permit applications will restore normalcy to the Gulf region and repair the public’s faith in the administrative process,” the judge wrote.

Leave a Reply

*

FEATURED MICROSITES


Recent Drilling News

  • 24 October 2014

    GDF SUEZ, BP discover new Central North Sea Field

    “This is an encouraging exploration discovery in a part of the Central North Sea that needs additional volumes of hydrocarbons to open up development options…

  • 24 October 2014

    Chevron, BP discover oil in deepwater US Gulf of Mexico

    The discovery well, on Keathley Canyon Block 10, was drilled by operator Chevron on behalf of the Guadalupe co-owners. The well encountered significant oil pay…

  • 22 October 2014

    Shell discovers gas in pre-salt reservoir offshore Gabon

    Shell announced a frontier exploration discovery offshore Gabon, West Africa. The well Leopard-1 encountered a substantial gas column with around 200 m net gas pay…

  • 22 October 2014

    Statoil proves new oil resources near Grane field in North Sea

    Well 25/8-18 S, drilled by the rig Transocean Leader, proved an oil column of 25 m in the Heimdal Formation. The estimated volume of the discovery…

  • 21 October 2014

    IADC Cybersecurity Task Group to provide industry guidance to assess risks

    The oil and gas industry is not immune to cybersecurity threats, from computer viruses and malware to targeted attacks. The IADC Advanced Rig Technology (ART) Committee…

  • Read more news