The 2007 report, requested by the Minerals Management Service, identifies 1,227 idle oil and gas platforms in the Gulf of Mexico and recommends that “structures that exist on a lease that have not produced in the last year do not serve a useful economic function.” In his letter, Grijalva requests government enforcement of existing oil and gas regulations and the dismantling of abandoned oil wells.
Current Federal regulations require that “idle iron” be removed within one year of the termination of any offshore lease. Grijavla, a member of the Committee on Natural Resources who chairs the National Parks, Forests and Public Lands Subcommittee, says that the regulation is not being enforced and recommends that idle iron parent companies hire Gulf-area workers to remove the abandoned structures. Removing the idle structures would “ensure that cleared areas are open to potential future opportunities.”
According to the August 5 edition of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Michael Bromwich, director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy, Management, Regulation and Enforcement (formerly MMS) reports that a proposal to enforce the regulation was submitted prior to Grijalva’s letter. New measures are expected to take effect soon.
Center for Energy Studies professor Mark Kaiser served as principal author of the study.
Click here to view the report.
Click here to view Rep. Grijalva’s letter to Sec. Salazar.