The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) today approved a deepwater drilling permit for a new well that was described in Shell Offshore Inc’s recently approved Exploration Plan.
The proposed well was also considered in the Site-Specific Environmental Assessment (SEA) completed as part of the plan review. In order to receive the permit approval, Shell complied with rigorous new safety standards implemented in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon explosion and resulting oil spill. This includes satisfying the requirement to demonstrate the capacity to contain a subsea blowout. The approved permit is a permit to drill a new well for Shell’s Well #DC001 in Garden Banks Block 427 in 2,721 ft. water depth, approximately 137 miles off the Louisiana coastline, south of Lafayette.
“Today’s permit approval represents a culmination of a broad and comprehensive review process involving an exploration plan, a site-specific environmental assessment, and the application for the drilling permit – all of which complied with our rigorous safety and environmental standards,” said BOEMRE Director Michael R. Bromwich. “The completion of this process further demonstrates that we are proceeding as quickly as our resources allow to properly regulate offshore oil and gas operations in the most safe and environmentally-responsible manner.”
All offshore wells are identified in either an exploration or development plan, which require approval prior to drilling permits being issued. Shell’s supplemental Exploration Plan, which includes Well #DC001, was approved March 21, 2011, as the first new deepwater exploration plan approved since the Deepwater Horizon explosion and resulting oil spill. As part of the plan’s review process, BOEMRE prepared a SEA to examine Shell’s proposed exploration activities in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act and the implementation of departmental and bureau regulations.
Source:BOEMRE , March 31, 2011;