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Posted on 30 October 2013

Industry responds to US Bureau of Land Management on proposed hydraulic fracturing rule

In 2012, the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released a proposed well stimulation and hydraulic fracturing regulation for federal and Indian lands. The intent of the rule is to ensure that the hydraulic fracturing process does not contaminate groundwater. The BLM issued a supplemental proposal in May 2013.

On 22 August, IADC, along with other industry associations and organizations, submitted comments to the BLM regarding the revised rule.

The associations contend that the BLM’s proposal is technically unsound and does not provide additional benefits beyond what the existing regulations currently provide. The rule imposes costs that are not commensurate with any benefits it might provide and are in many cases duplicative of states’ efforts to regulate oil and natural gas.

The associations contend that the usable water definition contained in the rule creates confusion for an existing regulatory structure, that the state/tribal or basin variance language is flawed and that the economic analysis is inadequate and the rule arbitrary and capricious.

DC cited in supreme court brief

An article from a 1999 issue of Drilling Contractor was cited in an amici curiae brief submitted to the US Supreme Court in August in relation to litigation involving a drilling rig equipment patent dispute between Transocean and Maersk (Case No 13-43). The citation referenced a three-part article, “Contractual Insurance and Risk Allocation in the Offshore Drilling Industry,” authored by Cary Moomjian while he was VP and general counsel of Santa Fe International.

Mr Moomjian later became VP and general counsel of Ensco. He now serves as president of IADC associate member CAM OilServe Advisors. Named IADC Contractor of the Year in 1996, Mr Moomjian has written multiple articles and industry papers that have been cited in numerous court rulings, litigant briefs and scholarly papers.

BSEE appoints director 

On 14 August, US Department of Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced the appointment of US Coast Guard Vice Admiral Brian Salerno as the next director of the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE).

Mr Salerno was most recently the Deputy Commandant for Operations at the US Coast Guard and had a role in the response to the Macondo incident. He has served on the National Academy of Sciences’ Ocean Studies Board and is a member of the North American Marine Environmental Protection Association. Mr Salerno replaces the outgoing Admiral James Watson, who left his post to join the American Bureau of Shipping.

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