With the new administration's announcement of 30 GW of offshore wind power by 2030 (a moon-shot effort), it's aggressive climate goals, and BOEM's recent Request for Interest (RFI) in Commercial Leasing for Wind Power Development on the Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf (GOM OCS), the potential for re-purposing some of the GOM infrastructure has gained momentum. At the same time, with 1688 platforms remaining in the GOM and 318 of those platforms on expired oil and gas leases, BSEE is turning up the pressure on both current platform owners and their predecessors to take action.
When Congress passed the Energy Policy Act of 2005, they seemingly foresaw this conundrum and included Section 388 to instruct the Secretary of Interior to allow the GOM infrastructure to be used "for energy-related purposes or for other authorized marine-related purposes". BOEM's predecessor (MMS) prepared a Programmatic EIS in 2007, and BOEM promulgated regulations at 30 CFR 585 Subpart J in 2012. The Gulf Offshore Research Institute (GORI) has been researching the feasibility and process for re-purposing the end-of-life infrastructure. Kent Satterlee, Executive Director of GORI, will share some of the work GORI has undertaken to determine both the ecological and beneficial uses of the infrastructure and what opportunities exist for platform and pipeline owner/operators.