Group to counter Indian DGS rules
The IADC South Central Asia (SCA) Chapter has formed a work group that will coordinate a response plan to challenge requirements issued last year by India’s Directorate General of Shipping (DGS). Under those regulations, jackups older than 25 years and not classed with the Indian Register of Shipping must undergo extensive inspections and take any required corrective actions before beginning operations in Indian waters. Additionally, the DGS would require payment of an “appropriate fee” for obtaining the inspection.
The work group was formed to pursue two courses of action: “representation” to the DGS of issues related to applicability, and filing of a writ petition in the courts challenging DGS authority to apply the regulations to MODUs. A draft position paper has been updated and circulated. Legal counsel will prepare documents and submit them to the DGS, as well as prepare a writ petition to file on behalf of the IADC SCA Chapter.
Industry argues for more OCS leasing
The US House Committee on Natural Resources held hearings in late February on the status of the current OCS leasing system. Seven major oilfield trade associations, including IADC, submitted joint testimony for the hearing record, citing the industry’s superlative operational and environmental records. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar recently announced a deadline extension for comments on the next five-year leasing plan. Allied industry interests in Washington are working to limit congressional and executive branch damage to that plan. They’re noting the country’s continuing need for hydrocarbons in the national energy mix over the next decades, which requires diversification of crude oil and natural gas supplies from global markets.
Law of the Sea gathers momentum
The Obama Administration has signaled that US Senate accession to the Law of the Sea Treaty will be a priority. In her confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that it will be one of her primary goals. This was seconded by committee chairman Sen. John Kerry.
IADC has long supported the treaty. Senior vice president – government affairs Brian Petty was invited to the Council on Foreign Relations to participate in an advisory committee chaired by former US Ambassador to the UN Thomas Pickering to promote Senate passage. The group includes representatives of the US Navy and the CEO of the Ocean Conservancy, an environmental organization. IADC is the only oilfield stakeholder represented on the panel.
The group takes the position that the treaty is directly relevant to US foreign policy and that it is germane to a host of emerging maritime challenges of strategic importance to the US, including commercial uses of oceans, such as oil and gas production. The advisory committee will guide the shaping of a “Council Special Report” to be released in March advocating Senate action as soon as possible.