Feds give industry more time to vet offshore rule

by Jennifer A. Dlouhy

Federal regulators on Thursday gave in to the oil industry’s plea for more time to review a suite of proposed new mandates for offshore production systems.

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said it would extend a 60-day deadline for filing comments on the proposed requirements by late October, allowing people to weigh in as late as Dec. 5.

The agency confirmed the 45-day extension in a notice set to be published in Friday’s Federal Register.

Industry officials had insisted they needed more time because of the sheer scope of the 149-page proposal, which updates standards that haven’t been significantly revised since they were first published in 1988.

In an Aug. 29 letter to the safety bureau, the Independent Petroleum Association of America asked for 120 days so companies could “fully analyze the rule and provide comment on the impact it will have on their operations.”

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