BSEE Issues Offshore Energy Infrastructure Decommissioning Guidance

(Image credit: BSEE)

To guide future oil and gas platform removal off the California coast, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has published the final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for Oil and Gas Decommissioning Activities on the Pacific Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).

The proposed action would ensure no oil and gas infrastructure remains on the Pacific OCS seafloor that could interfere with navigation, commercial fisheries, future oil and gas operations, and other current or future ocean users.

“We completed a robust analysis based on sound science, Tribal consultation, public input, and the best available information,” said Bruce Hesson, BSEE Pacific Region Director. “This final PEIS provides BSEE with important guidance on future decommissioning applications for the complete removal and disposal of oil and gas platforms, associated pipelines, and other facilities offshore Southern California.”

Throughout the scoping process, federal, state, and local governmental agencies, federally recognized Tribes, industry, ocean users, and key stakeholders provided comments and alternatives for analysis to assist in defining the scope of the PEIS under National Environmental Policy Act provisions.

The final PEIS analyzed all the alternatives presented in the draft PEIS issued in October 2022, and addresses public comments that BSEE and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management received on the draft PEIS during the comment period.

Twenty-three California oil and gas platforms, all installed between the late 1960s and 1990, are subject to eventual decommissioning. The alternative chosen as the proposed action would involve the complete removal of the platforms, topside, conductors, the platform jacket to at least 4.6 m (15 ft) below the mud line, pipelines, power cables, and other subsea infrastructure (i.e., wells, obstructions, and facilities), and clearance of the seabed.

The final PEIS, appendices, and associated information are available for review at BSEE.gov Pacific OCS Region Decommissioning. A Record of Decision (ROD) is expected to be issued in approximately 30 days, and will be posted at BSEE.gov Pacific OCS Region Decommissioning.

This notice of availability is published pursuant to the regulations (40 CFR part 1502.20) implementing the provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969.

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