For Immediate Release: Contact: Nicolette Nye
Wednesday, September 15, 2010 (202) 347-6900
NOIA President Randall Luthi Comments on DOI’s “Idle Iron” Guidance
WASHINGTON, DC – NOIA President Randall Luthi today issued the following statement in response to the Department of the Interior’s announcement of updated procedures for decommissioning offshore wells and platforms:
“It is important to understand that this decision is in no way tied to the Deepwater Horizon accident. This notice strengthens existing requirements and has likely been in the works since at least 2008, when the then-MMS conducted a review of idle structures and wells. Now, as then, the offshore industry is committed to safe operations, both during and after exploration and production, and this includes responsible removal of structures and plugging of wells.
While industry stands ready to fulfill this commitment, it can only do so with the cooperation of State and Federal agencies. For example, will the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration commit to prompt review and approval of the Incidental Take permits needed under the Marine Mammal Protection Act before companies can actually decommission a platform? Will the Administration work with the states to finalize Rigs-to-Reefs Programs so that decommissioned structures might find a second life as habitats for offshore ecosystems?
Industry is ready to meet its obligations with respect to offshore structures. We ask only that the Federal government meet us halfway by approving the actual work. It is not enough just to clarify the requirement of cleaning up and removal of structures, the Administration must also assist in clearing the path so such operations can be done quickly, smoothly and in an environmentally responsible manner.”
NOIA is the only national trade association representing all segments of the offshore industry with an interest in the exploration and production of both traditional and renewable energy resources on the nation’s outer continental shelf. The NOIA membership comprises more than 250 companies engaged in business activities ranging from producing to drilling, engineering to marine and air transport, offshore construction to equipment manufacture and supply, telecommunications to finance and insurance.