[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 198 (Thursday, October 14, 2010)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 63345-63377]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-25256]



[[Page 63345]]

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Part III





Department of the Interior





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Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement



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30 CFR Part 250



Oil and Gas and Sulphur Operations in the Outer Continental Shelf--
Increased Safety Measures for Energy Development on the Outer 
Continental Shelf; Final Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 75 , No. 198 / Thursday, October 14, 2010 / 
Rules and Regulations

[[Page 63346]]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement

30 CFR Part 250

[Docket ID BOEM-2010-0034]
RIN 1010-AD68


Oil and Gas and Sulphur Operations in the Outer Continental 
Shelf--Increased Safety Measures for Energy Development on the Outer 
Continental Shelf

AGENCY: Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement 
(BOEMRE), Interior.

ACTION: Interim final rule with request for comments.

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SUMMARY: This interim final rule implements certain safety measures 
recommended in the report entitled, ``Increased Safety Measures for 
Energy Development on the Outer Continental Shelf'' (Safety Measures 
Report), dated May 27, 2010. The President directed the Department of 
the Interior to develop the Safety Measures Report to identify measures 
necessary to improve the safety of oil and gas exploration and 
development on the Outer Continental Shelf in light of the Deepwater 
Horizon event on April 20, 2010, and resulting oil spill. To implement 
the practices recommended in the Safety Measures Report, the Bureau of 
Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement is amending 
drilling regulations related to well control, including: subsea and 
surface blowout preventers, well casing and cementing, secondary 
intervention, unplanned disconnects, recordkeeping, well completion, 
and well plugging.

DATES: Effective Date: This rule becomes effective on October 14, 2010. 
The incorporation by reference of the publication listed in the 
regulations is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of 
October 14, 2010. Submit comments on the interim final rule by December 
13, 2010. BOEMRE may not fully consider comments received after this 
date. Submit comments to the Office of Management and Budget on the 
information collection burden in this rule by December 13, 2010.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on the interim final rulemaking by 
any of the following methods. Please use the Regulation Identifier 
Number (RIN) 1010-AD68 as an identifier in your message. See also 
Public Availability of Comments under Procedural Matters.
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. In 
the entry titled ``Enter Keyword or ID,'' enter BOEM-2010-0034 then 
click search. Follow the instructions to submit public comments and 
view supporting and related materials available for this rulemaking. 
BOEMRE will post all comments.
     Mail or hand-carry comments to the Department of the 
Interior; Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and 
Enforcement; Attention: Regulations and Standards Branch (RSB); 381 
Elden Street, MS-4024, Herndon, Virginia 20170-4817. Please reference 
``Increased Safety Measures for Energy Development on the Outer 
Continental Shelf, 1010-AD68'' in your comments and include your name 
and return address.
     Send comments on the information collection in this rule 
to: Department of the Interior; Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, 
Regulation and Enforcement; Attention: Cheryl Blundon; 381 Elden 
Street, MS-4024; Herndon, Virginia 20170-4817. Please reference 
Information Collection 1010-0185 in your comment and include your name 
and address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Amy C. White, Office of Offshore 
Regulatory Programs, Regulations and Standards Branch, Bureau of Ocean 
Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, 703-787-1665, 
amy.white@boemre.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Contents

I. Background
II. Request for Comments on Interim Final Rule and Effective Date
III. Overview of Requirements in the Interim Final Rule
IV. Source of Specific Provisions Addressed in the Interim Final 
Rule
V. Justification for Interim Final Rulemaking
VI. Section-By-Section Discussion of Requirements in the Interim 
Final Rule
VII. Additional Recommendations in the Safety Measures Report Not 
Covered in This Interim Final Rule

I. Background

    This interim final rule promulgated for the prevention of waste and 
conservation of natural resources of the Outer Continental Shelf, 
establishes regulations based on certain recommendations in the May 27, 
2010, report from the Secretary of the Interior to the President 
entitled, ``Increased Safety Measures for Energy Development on the 
Outer Continental Shelf'' (Safety Measures Report). The President 
directed that the Department of the Interior (DOI) develop this report 
as a result of the Deepwater Horizon event on April 20, 2010. This 
event, which involved a blowout of the BP Macondo well and an explosion 
on the Transocean Deepwater Horizon mobile offshore drilling unit 
(MODU), resulted in the deaths of 11 workers, an oil spill of national 
significance, and the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon MODU. On June 2, 
2010, the Secretary of the Interior directed the Bureau of Ocean Energy 
Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) (formerly the Minerals 
Management Service) to adopt the recommendations contained in the 
Safety Measures Report and to implement them as soon as possible.
    The Safety Measures Report recommended a series of steps to improve 
the safety of offshore oil and gas drilling operations in Federal 
waters. It outlined a number of specific measures designed to ensure 
sufficient redundancy in blowout preventers (BOPs), promote well 
integrity, enhance well control, and facilitate a culture of safety 
through operational and personnel management.
    The Safety Measures Report recommended that certain measures be 
implemented immediately through a Notice to Lessees and Operators 
(NTL). It identified other measures as being appropriate to address 
through an emergency rulemaking process. The Safety Measures Report 
recognized that other recommendations would require additional review 
and refinement through technical reviews by the DOI, through 
information supplied as a result of the numerous investigations into 
the root causes of the Deepwater Horizon explosion, and through the 
longer-term recommendations of DOI strike teams and inter-agency work 
groups. The Safety Measures Report recommended that these other 
measures be addressed through notice and comment rulemaking, as 
appropriate.
    On June 8, 2010, BOEMRE issued an NTL addressing those 
recommendations identified in the Safety Measures Report as warranting 
immediate implementation (NTL No. 2010-N05--Increased Safety Measures 
for Energy Development on the OCS). This interim final rule clarifies 
existing regulatory requirements that were addressed by certain 
portions of NTL No. 2010-N05. This rule incorporates specific details 
included in 2010-N05 by codifying these into regulations. The rule does 
not codify the one-time requirements from NTL No. 2010-N05, such as the 
one-time requirement for recertification of all BOP equipment used in 
new floating operations, which will be evaluated and considered for 
future rulemakings as appropriate.
    This interim final rule also addresses measures identified in the 
Safety Measures Report as appropriate for

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implementation through emergency rulemaking, with certain exceptions 
discussed later. It also includes other provisions from the Safety 
Measures Report that BOEMRE considers appropriate for immediate 
implementation in this interim final rule.
    As provided for in the Safety Measures Report, BOEMRE will continue 
to review other safety measures. These include items that may be 
appropriate for rulemaking in the near future, as well as measures that 
will require further study, whether through DOI-led strike teams, 
inter-agency workgroups, or other means.
    The following table provides a summary of the interim final rule 
requirements, estimated annual costs to implement the requirements, and 
the operator's ability to comply with the requirements. Additional 
discussion on all the requirements follows in the remainder of the 
preamble.

                                                        Summary of Interim Final Rule Compliance
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                                                                                            Operator cost to
       Citation and requirement             Recommendation              Applies to           implement per          Operator ability to comply with
                                                                                                 year *                       requirement
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Sec.   250.198(a)(3), All documents    Based on NTL No. 2010     All operators...........  .................  Administrative provision that does not
 incorporated by reference ``should''   N05.                                                                   impose compliance times beyond the
 and ``shall'' mean ``must''.                                                                                  substantive provisions involved.
Sec.   250.198(h)(79), Incorporation   Safety Measures Report:   All applications for      .................  Additional information provision does not
 by Reference of API RP 65--Part 2      II.B.3.7: Enforce         permit to drill (APDs)                       impose compliance times beyond the
 Isolating Potential Flow Zones         Tighter Primary           **.                                          substantive provisions involved.
 During Well Construction.              Cementing Practices.
Sec.   250.415(f), Written             Safety Measures Report:   Submitted with APD.       .................  New engineering requirement. BOEMRE
 description of how the operator        II.B.3.7: Enforce         Applies to all APDs.                         believes that most operators will be able
 evaluated the best practices           Tighter Primary                                                        to comply with this requirement with no
 included in API RP 65-Part 2. The      Cementing Practices.                                                   significant delays * * * because this can
 description must identify mechanical                                                                          be completed concurrently with other
 barriers and cementing practices to                                                                           tasks.
 be used for each casing string.
Sec.   250.416(d), Include schematics  Safety Measures Report:   Submitted with APD.       .................  Information is readily available. Should
 of all control systems and control     I.B.5: Secondary          Applies to all APDs.                         not delay submission of the APD.
 pods.                                  Control System
                                        Requirement and
                                        Guidelines.
Sec.   250.416(e), Independent third   Safety Measures Report:   Submitted with APD.              $1,200,000  Because there are multiple engineering
 party verification that the blind-     I.C.7: Develop New        Applies to all APDs.                         firms available to do this work, and
 shear rams installed are capable of    Testing Requirements.                                                  because operators have had advance notice
 shearing any drill pipe in the hole.   Also in NTL No. N05.                                                   of this requirement in both the Safety
                                                                                                               Measures Report and NTL No. N05, BOEMRE
                                                                                                               believes that most operators will be able
                                                                                                               to comply with this requirement with no
                                                                                                               significant delay and provide information
                                                                                                               in the APD.
Sec.   250.416(f), Independent third   Safety Measures Report:   Submitted with APD. All
 party verification that subsea BOP     I.B.2: Order BOP          APDs for well with
 is designed for specific equipment     Equipment Compatibility   subsea BOP stack.
 on rig and specific well design.       Verification for Each     Subsea BOP stacks are
                                        Floating Vessel and for   usually employed in
                                        Each New Well. Also in    deepwater.
                                        NTL No. N05.
Sec.   250.416(g), Qualification for   Based on NTL No. 2010 N-  All APDs................  .................  Related to requirements for independent
 independent third parties.             05.                                                                    third party certifications.

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Sec.   250.420(a)(6), Certification    Safety Measure Report:    Submitted with APD.               6,000,000  Because there are multiple engineering
 by a professional engineer that        II.B.1.3: New Casing      Applies to all APDs.                         firms available to do this work and
 there are two independent tested       and Cement Design                                                      because operators have had advance notice
 barriers and that the casing and       Requirements: Two                                                      of this requirement in both the Safety
 cementing design are appropriate.      Independent Barriers.                                                  Measures Report and NTL No. N05, BOEMRE
                                        This requirement was                                                   believes operators will be able to comply
                                        also addressed in NTL                                                  with this requirement with no significant
                                        No. N05.                                                               delays and provide information in the
                                                                                                               APD.
Sec.   250.420(b)(3), Installation of  Safety Measure Report:    Completed during the             10,300,000  Completed during the casing and cementing
 dual mechanical barriers in addition   II.B.1.3: New Casing      casing and cementing of                      of the well. Compliance with this
 to cement for final casing string.     and Cement Design         the well. It applies to                      requirement may minimally increase the
                                        Requirements: Two         all wells drilled.                           time to drill each well.
                                        Independent Barriers.
                                        This requirement was
                                        also addressed in NTL
                                        No. N05.
Sec.   250.423(b), The operator must   Safety Measure Report:    Complied with after the   .................  Because operators had advance notice of
 perform a pressure test on the         II.B.2.5: New Casing      installation of each                         this requirement in both the Safety
 casing seal assembly to ensure         Installation              casing string or liner                       Measures Report and NTL No. N05, BOEMRE
 proper installation of casing or       Procedures. This          for all wells drilled                        believes operators should be complying
 liner. The operator must ensure that   requirement was also      with a subsea BOP                            with this requirement.
 the latching mechanisms or lock down   addressed in NTL No.      stack. It is tested
 mechanisms are engaged upon            N05.                      after the installation
 installation of each casing string                               of the casing or liner.
 or liner.
Sec.   250.423(c), The operator must   Safety Measure Report:    Tested after running the         45,100,000  Compliance with this requirement will
 perform a negative pressure test to    II.B.2.6: Develop         casing. All wells,                           increase the time to drill each subsea
 ensure proper casing installation.     Additional Requirements   involves all rigs with                       well resulting in additional costs.
 This test must be performed for the    or Guidelines for         surface and subsurface                       BOEMRE estimates several hours of
 intermediate and production casing     Casing.                   BOPs in all water                            additional drilling time for each well.
 strings.                                                         depths.
Sec.   250.442(c), Sec.   250.515(e),  Safety Measure Report:    Applies to all subsea     .................  All rigs should be able to comply with
 Sec.   250.615(e). Have a subsea BOP   I.B.5: Secondary          BOP stacks.                                  requirement. All rigs currently have ROV
 stack equipped with remotely           Control System                                                         intervention capability; approximately
 operated vehicle (ROV) intervention    Requirements and                                                       80% of subsea BOP stacks currently have
 capability. At a minimum, the ROV      Guidelines. This                                                       all the specified capabilities. Other 20%
 must be capable of closing one set     requirement was also                                                   are expected to be able to comply
 of pipe rams, closing one set of       addressed in NTL No.                                                   promptly.
 blind-shear rams, and unlatching the   N05.
 lower marine riser package.
Sec.   250.442(c), Sec.   250.515(e),  Safety Measure Report:    Ongoing requirement. All  .................  BOEMRE believes all rigs operating on OCS
 Sec.   250.615(e). Maintain an ROV     I.B.6: New ROV            subsea BOP stacks                            are already in compliance.
 and have a trained ROV crew on each    Operating Capabilities;   regardless of water
 floating drilling rig on a             II.A.1: Establish         depth.
 continuous basis.                      Deepwater Well-Control
                                        Procedure Guidelines.
Sec.   250.442(f), Sec.   250.515(e),  Safety Measure Report:    Anytime drilling occurs   .................  BOEMRE believes all DP rigs operating on
 Sec.   250.615(e). Provide autoshear   I.B.5: Secondary          with subsea BOP stacks                       OCS currently comply with this
 and deadman systems for dynamically    Control System            on DP rigs.                                  requirement.
 positioned (DP) rigs.                  Requirements and
                                        Guidelines.

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Sec.   250.442(e), Sec.   250.515(e),  Safety Measure Report:    Ongoing requirement.      .................  Requires trained ROV crew; for rigs not
 Sec.   250.615(e). Establish minimum   II.A.1: Establish         Applies to all                               already in compliance, additional
 requirements for personnel             Deepwater Well-Control    personnel that operate                       training or hiring of new crew may be
 authorized to operate critical BOP     Procedure Guidelines.     subsea BOP stacks.                           necessary. Additional training could take
 equipment.                                                       Majority of drilling                         days to weeks, depending upon how well
                                                                  rigs that use subsea                         existing crews are trained. However,
                                                                  BOP stacks operate in                        BOEMRE believes no rigs should be
                                                                  deepwater.                                   operating without adequately trained
                                                                                                               personnel.
Sec.   250.446(a), Sec.   250.516(h),  Safety Measure Report:    Ongoing requirement. All  .................  All rigs should be able to comply with
 Sec.   250.516(g), Sec.   250.617.     I.B.5: Secondary          BOP stacks. All water                        requirement.
 Require documentation of BOP           Control System            depths.
 inspections and maintenance            Requirements and
 according to API RP 53.                Guidelines.
Sec.   250.449(j), Sec.                Safety Measure Report:    During the stump test           118,200,000  All rigs should be able to comply with
 250.516(d)(8), Sec.   250.616(h)(1).   I.B.5: Secondary          and initial test on the                      requirement. This requirement not
 Test all ROV intervention functions    Control System            seafloor. All subsea                         expected to result in significant delay.
 on the subsea BOP stack during the     Requirements and          BOP stacks. All water                        Compliance with this requirement will
 stump test. Test at least one set of   Guidelines; I.C.7:        depths.                                      slightly increase the time to drill each
 rams during the initial test on the    Develop New Testing                                                    deepwater well drilled with a subsea BOP,
 seafloor.                              Requirements.                                                          resulting in additional costs.
Sec.   250.449(k), Sec.                Safety Measure Report:
 250.516(d)(9), Sec.   250.616(h)(2).   I.B.5: Secondary
 Function test autoshear and deadman    Control System
 systems on the subsea BOP stack        Requirements and
 during the stump test. Test the        Guidelines; I.C.7:
 deadman system during the initial      Develop New Testing
 test on the seafloor.                  Requirements.
Sec.   250.451(i), If the blind-shear  Safety Measure Report:    Emergency activation of           2,600,000  Compliance with this requirement will
 or casing shear rams are activated     I.C.7: Develop New        blind or casing shear                        increase drilling costs when such an
 in a well control situation, the BOP   Testing Requirements.     rams.                                        emergency occurs.
 must be retrieved and fully            This requirement was
 inspected and tested.                  also addressed in NTL
                                        No. N05.
Sec.   250.456(j), Before displacing   Safety Measure Report:    Submit with APD or        .................  New requirement. Operator should be able
 kill-weight drilling fluid from the    II.A.2: New Fluid         application for permit                       to provide this information in APD or APM
 wellbore, the operator must receive    Displacement Procedures.  to modify (APM). All                         without significant delay.
 approval from the District Manager.                              wells where the
 The operator must submit the reasons                             operator wants to
 for displacing the kill-weight                                   displace kill-weight
 drilling fluid and provide detailed                              fluids. This could
 step-by-step procedures describing                               occur on all rigs that
 how the operator will safely                                     use either a surface or
 displace these fluids.                                           subsurface BOP stack.
                                                                  Could occur with all
                                                                  water depths.
Subpart O, Sec.  Sec.   250.1500-      Safety Measure Report:    All wells drilled with    .................  BOEMRE believes that the majority of
 250.1510, Requires that rig            II.A.1: Establish         subsea BOP stack.                            operators have addressed this
 personnel are trained in deepwater     Deepwater Well-Control                                                 requirement. There should not be any
 well control and the specific          Procedure Guidelines.                                                  delay for this requirement.
 duties, equipment, and techniques
 associated with deepwater drilling.

[[Page 63350]]

 
Sec.   250.1712(g), Sec.               Safety Measure Report:    Submitted with APM. All   .................  Operator should be able to comply with no
 250.1721(h). Certification by a        II.B.1.3: New Casing      abandonment operations                       significant delay and provide information
 professional engineer of the well      and Cement Design         regardless of BOP type                       in application for permit to modify
 abandonment design and procedures;     Requirements: Two         or water depth.                              (APM). Estimate that this could take an
 that there will be at least two        Independent Tested                                                     operator as much as several days to
 independent tested barriers,           Barriers.                                                              comply with new requirement. Depends on
 including one mechanical barrier,                                                                             operator's internal review process.
 across each flow path during
 abandonment activities; and that the
 plug meets the requirements in the
 table in Sec.   250.1715.
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* Costs that were not provided did not add a meaningful value in comparison of the cost of drilling a well.
** All APDs means all wells drilled with a surface BOP and all wells drilled with a subsurface BOP. Includes all water depths.
*** Requirements noted as ``no significant delay'' are anticipated to require no more than 1 week to achieve compliance. While individually each
  activity could take a day and possibly up to 5 days to complete, it is anticipated that companies will build this into their schedules with no
  resulting overall delay.


                  Total Estimates of Costs and Benefits
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total Estimated Annual Compliance    $183.1 million.
 Costs.
Total Estimated Annual Avoided       $631.4 million--B *.
 Social Costs (Benefits).
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* DOI estimated the cost of a hypothetical spill in the future at $16.3
  billion, and also estimated the baseline likelihood of a catastrophic
  blowout event and spill occurring, based on historical trends and the
  number of expected future wells, to be once every 26 years. These
  estimates are necessarily uncertain, and are discussed in more detail
  in the RIA. Combining the baseline likelihood of occurrence with the
  cost of a hypothetical spill implies that the expected annualized
  spill cost is about $631 million. This rulemaking will not reduce the
  probability of a future spill to zero; therefore, ``B'' in the table
  above represents the adjustment in annual avoided social costs
  expected from this rulemaking based on the non-zero remaining
  probability of a spill after this rule is put into place. Thus, the
  difference between the avoided costs with and without their rule
  represents its expected benefits. This remaining probability is
  uncertain. For example, to balance the $183 million annual cost
  imposed by these regulations with the expected benefits, the
  reliability of the well control system needs to improve by about 29
  percent ($183 million/$631 million). Although we have found no studies
  that evaluate the degree of actual improvement that could be expected
  from dual mechanical barriers, negative pressure tests, and a seafloor
  ROV function test, we believe it reasonable to anticipate that such
  measures will increase the reliability of the well control systems,
  and therefore that the benefits of this rulemaking justify the costs.

II. Request for Comments on Interim Final Rule and Effective Date

    This is an interim final rulemaking with request for comments; it 
is effective immediately upon publication. The Administrative Procedure 
Act (APA) requires that an agency publish a proposed rule in the 
Federal Register with notice and an opportunity for public comment, 
unless the agency, for good cause, finds that providing notice and 
soliciting comments in advance of promulgating the rule would be 
impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest (5 
U.S.C. 553(b)). BOEMRE determined that there is good cause for 
publishing this interim final rule without prior notice and comment 
based on its findings, consistent with preliminary information that is 
available as a result of investigations into the Deepwater Horizon 
event, that certain equipment, systems, and improved practices are 
immediately necessary for the safety of offshore oil and gas drilling 
operations on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), and that these 
improved drilling practices are either not addressed or not 
sufficiently detailed by current regulations. Immediate imposition of 
the requirements contained in this interim final rule is necessary 
because BOEMRE views strict adherence to improved safety practices set 
forth herein as necessary to achieving safer conditions that, together 
with other wild well control and oil spill response capabilities, will 
allow it to permit future OCS drilling operations. Following notice and 
comment procedures would be impracticable in these circumstances.
    Furthermore, following notice and comment procedures would be 
contrary to the public interest because the delay in implementation of 
this interim final rule could result in harm to public safety and the 
environment. Failure to adhere to the safety practices required by this 
interim final rule increases the risk of a blowout and subsequent oil 
spill, with serious consequences to the health and safety of workers 
and the environment.
    As discussed in Section 5, ``Justification for the Interim Final 
Rulemaking,'' while investigation and information-gathering into the 
Deepwater Horizon blowout and spill continues, preliminary evidence 
suggests problems with the Macondo well's line of defense, which could 
include blowout preventer (BOP) systems, casing and cementing programs, 
and fluid displacement procedures. Evidence further suggests that it is 
unlikely that these problems are unique to the Deepwater Horizon event; 
for example, most BOPs used in drilling on the OCS are of similar 
design and are produced by a limited number of manufacturers. The 
interim final rule's provisions thus incorporate targeted measures to 
promote the integrity of the well and enhance well control, including 
provisions specifically identified by the Safety Measures Report as 
warranting immediate implementation. For example, the requirement that 
operators have all well casing designs and cementing systems/procedures 
certified by a Professional Engineer.
    Similarly, BOEMRE determined that the immediate necessity for 
improved equipment, systems, and practices also provides good cause to 
impose an immediate effective date. The APA requires an agency to 
publish a rule not less than 30 days before its effective

[[Page 63351]]

date, except as otherwise provided by the agency for good cause found 
and published with the rule (5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3)). Just as BOEMRE found 
that providing notice and an opportunity to comment is impracticable 
and contrary to the public interest, BOEMRE finds that a 30-day delay 
after publication of this interim final rule compromises the safety of 
offshore oil and gas drilling. To the extent that the 30-day period is 
intended to allow regulated parties to adjust to new requirements, 
information gathered by BOEMRE in advance of this rulemaking indicates 
that the oil and gas industry is well aware of the general provisions 
in this interim final rule. Most of the provisions in the rule were 
identified in the Safety Measures Report, and industry is already 
working to implement them.
    We note that in developing the Safety Measures Report on which this 
interim final rule is based, the Department consulted with a wide range 
of experts in state and Federal governments, academic institutions, and 
industry and advocacy organizations. In addition, the draft 
recommendations of the Safety Measure Report were peer reviewed by 
seven experts identified by the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). 
Further explanation of the justification for this interim final 
rulemaking is provided in section V, ``Justification for Interim Final 
Rulemaking.''
    While BOEMRE will not solicit comments before the effective date, 
BOEMRE will accept and consider public comments on this rule that are 
submitted within 60 days of its publication in the Federal Register. 
After reviewing the public comments, BOEMRE will publish a notice in 
the Federal Register that will respond to comments and will either:
    1. Confirm this rule as a final rule with no additional changes, or
    2. Issue a revised final rule with modifications, based on public 
comments.

III. Overview of Requirements in the Interim Final Rule

    As recommended in the Safety Measures Report, this interim final 
rule imposes a number of prescriptive, near-term requirements. Other 
longer-term safety measures and performance-based standards recommended 
in the Safety Measures Report will be analyzed for implementation in 
future rulemakings. Information from the many investigations and other 
information sources will also be analyzed and considered in future 
rulemakings. In developing the Safety Measures Report on which this 
interim final rule is based, the Department consulted with experts in 
state and Federal government, academic institutions, and industry and 
advocacy organizations. In addition, draft recommendations were peer 
reviewed by seven experts identified by the NAE.
    The primary purpose of this interim final rule is to clarify and 
incorporate safeguards that will decrease the likelihood of a blowout 
during drilling operations on the OCS. The safeguards address well bore 
integrity and well control equipment, and this interim final rule 
focuses on those two overarching issues. This rule will therefore 
promulgate OCS-wide provisions that will:
    1. Establish new casing installation requirements,
    2. Establish new cementing requirements (incorporate American 
Petroleum Institute (API) Recommended Practice (RP) 65--Part 2, 
Isolating Potential Flow Zones During Well Construction),
    3. Require independent third party verification of blind-shear ram 
capability,
    4. Require independent third party verification of subsea BOP stack 
compatibility,
    5. Require new casing and cementing integrity tests,
    6. Establish new requirements for subsea secondary BOP 
intervention,
    7. Require function testing for subsea secondary BOP intervention,
    8. Require documentation for BOP inspections and maintenance,
    9. Require a Registered Professional Engineer to certify casing and 
cementing requirements, and
    10. Establish new requirements for specific well control training 
to include deepwater operations.
    As stated, the intent of this interim final rule is to improve 
safety related to both well bore integrity and well control equipment.
    Well bore integrity provides the first line of defense against a 
blowout by preventing a loss of well control. Well bore integrity 
includes appropriate use of drilling fluids and the casing and 
cementing program. Drilling fluids and the casing and cementing program 
are used to balance the pressure in the borehole against the fluid 
pressure of the formation, preventing an uncontrolled influx of fluid 
into the wellbore. The specific provisions in this rule that address 
well bore integrity are:
    1. Incorporating by reference API RP 65--Part 2, Isolating 
Potential Flow Zones During Well Construction;
    2. Submission of certification by a Registered Professional 
Engineer that the casing and cementing program is appropriate for the 
purpose for which it is intended under expected wellbore pressure;
    3. Requirements for two independent test barriers across each flow 
path during well completion activities (also certified by a Registered 
Professional Engineer);
    4. Ensuring proper installation of the casing or liner in the 
subsea wellhead or liner hanger;
    5. Approval from the District Manager before displacing kill-weight 
drilling fluid; and
    6. Deepwater well control training for rig personnel.
    Well control equipment is the general term for the technologies 
used to control a well by mechanical means in the event that other well 
control mechanisms fail. Well control equipment includes control 
systems that activate the BOPs, either through a control panel on the 
drilling rig or through Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) that directly 
interface with the subsea BOP to activate the appropriate rams. The 
provisions in this rule that address well control equipment include:
    1. Submission of documentation and schematics for all control 
systems;
    2. A requirement for independent third party verification that the 
blind-shear rams are capable of cutting any drill pipe in the hole 
under maximum anticipated surface pressure (MASP);
    3. A requirement for a subsea BOP stack equipped with ROV 
intervention capability. At a minimum, the ROV must be capable of 
closing one set of pipe rams, closing one set of blind-shear rams, and 
unlatching the Lower Marine Riser Package (LMRP);
    4. A requirement for maintaining an ROV and having a trained ROV 
crew on each floating drilling rig on a continuous basis;
    5. A requirement for autoshear and deadman systems for dynamically 
positioned rigs;
    6. Establishment of minimum requirements for personnel authorized 
to operate critical BOP equipment;
    7. A requirement for documentation of subsea BOP inspections and 
maintenance according to API RP 53, Recommended Practices for Blowout 
Prevention Equipment Systems for Drilling Wells;
    8. Required testing of all ROV intervention functions on the subsea 
BOP stack during the stump test and testing at least one set of rams 
during the initial test on the seafloor;
    9. Required function testing of autoshear and deadman systems on 
the subsea BOP stack during the stump test and testing the deadman 
system during the initial test on the seafloor; and

[[Page 63352]]

    10. Required pressure testing if any shear rams are used in an 
emergency.
    The following table shows where recommendations from the Safety 
Measures Report are implemented in the interim final rule.

 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
     Safety measures report
         recommendation                                     Interim final rule citation
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                Subpart A--General
II.B.3.7: Enforce Tighter         Sec.   250.198 Documents incorporated by reference.
 Primary Cementing Practices.
                                                    Subpart D--Oil and Gas Drilling Operations
II.B.3.7: Enforce Tighter         Sec.   250.415 What must my casing and cementing programs include?
 Primary Cementing Practices.
I.A.2: Order BOP Equipment        Sec.   250.416 What must I include in the diverter and BOP descriptions?
 Compatibility Verification for
 Each Floating Vessel and for
 Each New Well.
I.B.5: Secondary Control System
 Requirement and Guidelines
I.C.7: Develop New Testing
 Requirements
II.B.1.3: New Casing and Cement   Sec.   250.418 What additional information must I submit with my APD?
 Design Requirements: Two
 Independent Barriers.
I.C.7: Develop New Testing
 Requirements
II.B.1.3: New Casing and Cement   Sec.   250.420 What well casing and cementing requirements must I meet?
 Design Requirements: Two
 Independent Barriers.
II.B.1.3: New Casing and Cement   Sec.   250.423 What are the requirements for pressure testing casing?
 Design Requirements: Two
 Independent Barriers.
II.B.2.5: New Casing
 Installation Procedures
II.B.2.6: Develop Additional
 Requirements or Guidelines for
 Casing Installation
I.B.5: Secondary Control System   Sec.   250.442 What are the requirements for a subsea BOP system?
 Requirements and Guidelines.
I.B.6: New ROV Operating
 Capabilities
II.A.1: Establish Deepwater Well-
 Control Procedure Guidelines
I.B.5: Secondary Control System   Sec.   250.446 What are the BOP maintenance and inspection requirements?
 Requirements and Guidelines.
I.B.5: Secondary Control System   Sec.   250.449 What additional BOP testing requirements must I meet?
 Requirements and Guidelines.
I.C.7: Develop New Testing
 Requirements
I.C.7: Develop New Testing        Sec.   250.451 What must I do in certain situations involving BOP equipment or
 Requirements                      systems?
II.A.2: New Fluid Displacement    Sec.   250.456 What safe practices must the drilling fluid program follow?
 Procedures.
                                                 Subpart E--Oil and Gas Well-Completion Operations
I.B.5: Secondary Control System   Sec.   250.515 Blowout prevention equipment.
 Requirements and Guidelines.
I.B.6: New ROV Operating
 Capabilities
II.A.1: Establish Deepwater Well-
 Control Procedure Guidelines
I.B.5: Secondary Control System
 Requirements and Guidelines and
 recommendation.
I.C.7: Develop New Testing
 Requirements
                                                  Subpart F--Oil and Gas Well-Workover Operations
I.B.5: Secondary Control System   Sec.   250.615 Blowout prevention equipment.
 Requirements and Guidelines.
I.B.6: New ROV Operating
 Capabilities
II.A.1: Establish Deepwater Well-
 Control Procedure Guidelines
I.B.5: Secondary Control System   Sec.   250.616 Blowout preventer system testing, records, and drills.
 Requirements and Guidelines and
 recommendation.
I.C.7: Develop New Testing
 Requirements
I.B.5: Secondary Control System   Sec.   250.617 What are my BOP inspection and maintenance requirements?
 Requirements and Guidelines and
 recommendation.
I.C.7: Develop New Testing
 Requirements
                                              Subpart O--Well Control and Production Safety Training
II.A.1: Establish Deepwater Well- Sec.  Sec.   250.1500-250.1510.
 Control Procedure Guidelines.
                                  Sec.   250.1503 What are my general responsibilities for training?
                                                       Subpart Q--Decommissioning Activities
II.B.1.3: New Casing and Cement   Sec.   250.1712 What information must I submit before I permanently plug a
 Design Requirements: Two          well or zone?
 Independent Tested Barriers.
II.B.1.3: New Casing and Cement   Sec.   250.1721 If I temporarily abandon a well that I plan to re-enter, what
 Design Requirements: Two          must I do?
 Independent Tested Barriers.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

IV. Source of Specific Provisions Addressed in the Interim Final Rule

    This interim final rule clarifies existing regulatory requirements 
that were addressed by certain portions of NTL No. 2010-N05 by 
codifying the specific details into regulations. It also addresses 
items in the Safety Measures Report either identified as appropriate 
for implementation through emergency rulemaking, or which BOEMRE has 
determined will significantly increase OCS drilling safety and with 
which operators can readily comply. The following provides an 
explanation of each of these sources and provisions.

Emergency Rulemaking Recommendations From Safety Measures Report

    The Safety Measures Report identified four items for emergency 
rulemaking:
    1. Develop secondary control system requirements;

[[Page 63353]]

    2. Establish new blind-shear ram redundancy requirements;
    3. Establish new deepwater well control procedure requirements; and
    4. Adopt safety case requirements for floating drilling operations 
on the OCS.
    Of these four items, this interim final rule addresses: 1. 
Secondary control system requirements; and 3. deepwater well control 
procedure requirements. This interim final rule does not include: 2. 
New blind-shear ram redundancy requirements; and 4. safety case 
requirements for floating drilling operations on the OCS.
    BOEMRE determined that, while new blind-shear ram redundancy 
requirements are important to offshore drilling safety, they are not 
appropriate for inclusion in this interim final rule. Installation of a 
second set of blind-shear rams will require major modifications to the 
BOP stack for most rigs on the OCS. Compliance with such a requirement 
is likely to take operators from 1 year to 18 months. Inclusion of a 
requirement that will necessitate a period of 1 year or more to comply 
is not appropriate for an interim final rule, the purpose of which is 
to have immediate effect. Given the necessary compliance periods, 
BOEMRE believes there will be sufficient opportunity to proceed through 
a notice and comment rulemaking. Operators should be aware, however, 
that BOEMRE intends to promptly initiate a notice and comment 
rulemaking process to address this issue. Specifically, operators 
should be aware that BOEMRE is considering regulations to require the 
installation of a second set of blind-shear rams, appropriately spaced 
to ensure that at least one blind-shear ram cuts any drill pipe in the 
hole and seals the wellbore at any time. Operators should also be aware 
that BOEMRE is likewise considering requiring, through a notice and 
comment rulemaking, a set of casing shear rams capable of shearing any 
casing in the hole.
    This interim final rule addresses both new well bore integrity 
requirements and well control equipment requirements. The well bore 
integrity provisions impose requirements for casing and cementing 
design and installation, tighter cementing practices, the displacement 
of kill-weight fluids, and testing of independent well barriers. These 
new requirements ensure that there are additional physical barriers in 
the well to prevent oil and gas from escaping into the environment. 
These new requirements related to well bore integrity will considerably 
decrease the likelihood of a loss of well control. The well control 
equipment requirements in this interim final rule will help ensure the 
BOPs will operate in the event of an emergency and that the ROVs are 
capable of activating the BOPs. Together, these new requirements will 
help decrease the urgency of immediately requiring blind-shear ram 
redundancy on BOPs, and have factored into BOEMRE's decision to address 
such requirements through a standard rulemaking process.
    BOEMRE also determined not to include safety case requirements for 
floating drilling operations in this interim final rule. A safety case 
is a comprehensive, structured documentation system to reduce operating 
risks for offshore drilling. A drilling safety case would establish 
risk assessment and mitigation processes to manage a drilling 
contractor's controls related to health, safety, and environmental 
aspects of operations. BOEMRE is evaluating how a drilling safety case 
should be most appropriately integrated with an overall Safety and 
Environmental Management System (SEMS) approach, which BOEMRE may 
implement through a separate rulemaking process. As directed in the 
Safety Measures Report, BOEMRE will work with offshore operators and 
drilling contractors, appropriate government agencies, and other 
appropriate stakeholders to consider the type of well construction 
interfacing document that will best connect the requirements of a 
safety case to existing well design and construction documents. BOEMRE 
therefore intends to pursue adoption of appropriate safety case 
requirements through a separate rulemaking process once the necessary 
analyses have been completed.

Requirements From NTL No. 2010-N05

    Of the requirements in this interim final rule, the following table 
clarifies existing regulations by codifying provisions of NTL No. 2010-
N05:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   NTL No. 2010-N05 provision                              Interim final rule citations
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Documentation that the BOP has    Sec.   250.446 What are the BOP maintenance and inspection requirements?
 been maintained according to     Sec.   250.516 Blowout preventer system tests, inspections, and maintenance.
 the regulations at Sec.          Sec.   250.617 What are my BOP inspection and maintenance requirements?
 250.446(a), maintain these
 records and make them available
 upon request (safety report
 rec. I.A.1).
Independent third party           Sec.   250.416 What must I include in the diverter and BOP descriptions?
 verification that the BOP stack
 is designed for the specific
 equipment on the rig and
 compatible with the specific
 well location, well design, and
 well execution plan; that the
 BOP stack has not been
 compromised or damaged from
 previous service; and that the
 BOP stack will operate in the
 conditions in which it will be
 used (safety report rec. I.A.2).
Secondary control system with     Sec.   250.442 What are the requirements for a subsea BOP system?
 ROV intervention capabilities,   Sec.   250.515 Blowout prevention equipment.
 including the ability to close   Sec.   250.615 Blowout prevention equipment.
 one set of blind-shear rams and
 one set of pipe rams and
 unlatch the LMRP (safety report
 rec. I.B.5).
Emergency shut-in system in the   Sec.   250.442 What are the requirements for a subsea BOP system?
 event that you lose power to     Sec.   250.515 Blowout prevention equipment.
 the BOP stack, have an           Sec.   250.615 Blowout prevention equipment.
 unplanned disconnection of the
 riser from the BOP stack, or
 experience another emergency
 situation (safety report rec.
 I.B.5).
Function test the hot stabs that  Sec.   250.449 What additional BOP testing requirements must I meet?
 would be used to interface with  Sec.   250.516 Blowout preventer system tests, inspections, and maintenance.
 the ROV intervention panel       Sec.   250.616 Blowout preventer system testing, records, and drills.
 during the stump test (safety
 report rec. I.B.6).
Independent third party           Sec.   250.416 What must I include in the diverter and BOP descriptions?
 verification that provides
 sufficient information showing
 that the blind-shear rams
 installed in the BOP stack are
 capable of shearing the drill
 pipe in the hole under maximum
 anticipated surface pressures
 (safety report rec. I.C.7).

[[Page 63354]]

 
If the blind-shear rams or        Sec.   250.451 What must I do in certain situations involving BOP equipment or
 casing shear rams are activated   systems?
 in a well control situation in
 which pipe or casing was
 sheared, operators must inspect
 and test the BOP stack and its
 components, after the situation
 is fully controlled (safety
 report rec. I.C.7).
Have all well casing designs and  Sec.   250.420 What well casing and cementing requirements must I meet?
 cementing program/procedures     Sec.   250.1712 What information must I submit before I permanently plug a
 certified by a Registered         well or zone?
 Professional Engineer,           Sec.   250.1721 If I temporarily abandon a well that I plan to re-enter, what
 verifying the casing design is    must I do?
 appropriate for the purpose for
 which it is intended under
 expected wellbore conditions
 (safety report rec. II.B.3).
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Certain measures in NTL No. 2010-N05 are not included in this 
interim final rule. These are:
    1. Verify compliance with existing BOEMRE regulations and with the 
BOEMRE/U.S. Coast Guard National Safety Alert (safety report rec. 
III.A.1).
    2. Submit BOP and well control system configuration information for 
a drilling rig that was being used on May 27, 2010 (safety report rec. 
I.C.8).
    3. Operator must submit the relevant information required in NTL 
No. 2010-N05 prior to commencing operations if the operator had an 
Application for Permit to Drill (APD) or Application for Permit to 
Modify (APM) that was previously approved but drilling had not 
commenced as of May 27, 2010, and operator may not commence drilling 
without BOEMRE approval (general requirement for NTL not specified in 
Safety Measures Report).

Other Provisions From the Safety Measures Report in This Interim Final 
Rule

    The following provisions in this interim final rule are not covered 
in existing NTL No. 2010-N05 but are identified in the Safety Measures 
Report as being appropriate to implement either immediately or through 
an emergency rulemaking:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Safety measures report provision                           Interim final rule citations
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Establish deepwater well control  Sec.   250.442 What are the requirements for a subsea BOP system?
 procedure guidelines (safety     Sec.   250.515 Blowout prevention equipment.
 report rec. II.A.1).             Sec.   250.615 Blowout prevention equipment.
                                  Sec.  Sec.   250.1500 through 250.1510 Subpart O--Well Control and Production
                                   Safety Training.
Establish new fluid displacement  Sec.   250.456 What safe practices must the drilling fluid program follow?
 procedures (safety report rec.
 II.A.2).
Develop additional requirements   Sec.   250.423 What are the requirements for pressure testing casing?
 or guidelines for casing
 installation (safety report
 rec. II.B.2.6).
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    BOEMRE has also included the following provision in this interim 
final rule from the Safety Measures Report:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Safety measures report provision                                Interim final rule
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Enforce tighter primary           Sec.   250.415 What must my casing and cementing programs include?
 cementing practices (safety
 report rec. II.B.3.7).
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This provision is recommended in the Safety Measures Report, 
although it is not specifically identified as requiring implementation 
immediately or through emergency rulemaking (this provision was also 
not addressed in NTL No. 2010-N05). BOEMRE has nonetheless determined 
that it is appropriate for inclusion in this interim final rule because 
it is consistent with the intent of the recommendations in the Safety 
Measures Report. Tighter cementing practices will increase the safety 
of offshore oil and gas drilling operations by improving cementing 
practices; they also will support the other requirements in this 
interim final rule.

V. Justification for Interim Final Rulemaking

    Pursuant to the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA), the 
Secretary has an affirmative obligation to ensure that drilling 
operations undertaken on the OCS are conducted in a manner that is safe 
for the human, marine, and coastal environment (43 U.S.C. 1332(6), 
1334(a), 1347, and 1348; and 30 CFR 250.106). The April 20, 2010, 
blowout of the BP Macondo well and the explosion on the Deepwater 
Horizon killed 11 workers and resulted in the Nation's largest oil 
spill ever, with substantial environmental and economic impacts.
    On May 28, 2010, the Secretary ordered the suspension of certain 
oil and gas drilling operations in deepwater (greater than 500 feet). 
On July 12, 2010, the Secretary rescinded that order and replaced it 
with a new decision ordering the suspension in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) 
and Pacific regions of the drilling of wells using subsea BOPs or 
surface BOPs on a floating facility, with certain exceptions for 
intervention wells, injection and disposal wells, abandonments, 
completions, and workovers. This suspension order applies by its terms 
until November 30, 2010, although the order notes that it could be 
lifted earlier than that date.
    As mentioned previously, on April 30, 2010, the President also 
directed the Secretary to conduct a thorough review of the Deepwater 
Horizon event and to report within 30 days on additional

[[Page 63355]]

measures needed to improve the safety of oil and gas operations on the 
OCS. On May 27, 2010, the Secretary delivered the Safety Measures 
Report to the President. This Safety Measures Report incorporated 
recommendations from BOEMRE, as well as from a wide range of experts 
from government, academia, and industry. In developing the Safety 
Measures Report on which this interim final rule is based, the 
Department consulted with a wide range of experts in state and Federal 
government, academic institutions, and industry and advocacy 
organizations. In addition, draft recommendations were peer reviewed by 
seven experts identified by the NAE.
    Numerous investigations are ongoing, and the precise causes of the 
well blowout and explosion are not fully known; however, the fact that 
a blowout occurred clearly indicates problems with the well's line of 
defense, which could include BOP systems, casing and cementing 
programs, and fluid displacement procedures. Accordingly, it is not 
necessary to await certainty regarding the cause of the blowout before 
promulgating this interim final rule.
    Circumstances suggest that, while a blowout and spill of this 
magnitude have not occurred before on the OCS, it is unlikely that the 
problems are unique to the Deepwater Horizon and BP's Macondo well. As 
noted in the July 12, 2010, decision of the Secretary to suspend 
certain offshore permitting and drilling activities, most BOPs used in 
drilling on the OCS are of similar design and are produced by a limited 
number of manufacturers. Furthermore, the BOPs for the relief wells 
drilled to intercept the Macondo well encountered unexpected 
performance problems, initially failing to pass new testing procedures 
developed in response to the Safety Measures Report, including failure 
of the deadman and autoshear functions. These multiple failures raise 
red flags as to the reliability of BOPs to adequately safeguard the 
lives of workers and protect the environment from oil spills in 
response to a large blowout. They also suggest the need to review 
regulations pertaining to well casing and design, the other area of 
likely failure in the Deepwater Horizon event.
    Even without the full results of the pending investigations, the 
obvious failures of well intervention and blowout containment systems 
demonstrate that previous regulatory assumptions concerning their 
reliability are inaccurate. The importance of these systems in 
preventing catastrophic blowouts and oil spills indicate that genuine 
harm could result from delay and lead BOEMRE to conclude that immediate 
regulations are needed to better ensure the reliability of these 
systems, and to protect the lives of workers, human health, and the 
environment.
    This interim final rule therefore, specifically addresses measures 
that will increase the safety of these systems. It imposes requirements 
to give greater certainty that casing and cement design and fluid 
displacement are adequate for well bore integrity, and to enhance the 
reliability of well control equipment.
    The casing and cementing program and fluid displacement procedures 
are the first line of defense in preventing a loss of well control that 
could lead to a blowout. Casing and cement and drilling fluids are used 
to ensure the fluids in a formation do not enter the wellbore during 
drilling and completion operations. When a well is completed and 
production begins, the casing and cement continue to prevent 
uncontrolled flow of fluids into the wellbore. The integrity of the 
casing and cement are critical to proper well control. While the extent 
to which cementing and casing failures contributed to the Macondo 
blowout is not yet fully known, preliminary information suggests that 
the operator may have failed to follow best industry cementing and 
casing installation practices. The current regulations contain general 
cementing and casing requirements, but they do not specifically address 
best cementing and casing installation practices. This rulemaking will 
provide greater assurance that all operators will follow these safer 
practices, reducing the risk of a loss of well control.
    This interim final rule also strengthens requirements for BOPs. In 
the event of a loss of well control, rig operators use the BOPs to 
regain control of the well. This is done by closing the various rams on 
the BOP stack, which shut off the flow of formation fluids to the 
surface. Secondary well control system requirements (i.e., ROV 
intervention capabilities and emergency back-up BOP control systems) 
ensure that rig operators are able to activate various BOP rams in the 
event the control system on the rig fails (e.g., loss of power). 
Requirements in this interim final rule impose new standards to enhance 
BOP reliability, thereby lessening the possibility of failures that 
could lead to an uncontrolled blowout and spill with potentially 
catastrophic consequences for workers and the environment.
    Given the Deepwater Horizon blowout and resulting spill, and 
because of the potential for grave harm to workers and the human, 
marine, and coastal environment from any additional events, BOEMRE 
concludes that existing regulations must be strengthened to more fully 
protect offshore workers, the environment, and the public, and that 
this situation justifies immediate imposition of the requirements of 
this interim final rule.
    This interim final rule applies to ongoing operations not covered 
by the Secretary's July 12, 2010, suspension decision in addition to 
those operations that were suspended by that decision. Immediate 
imposition of the requirements of this rule is necessary for both 
ongoing and suspended operations to ensure that all operations proceed 
in a more safe and reliable fashion in protection of human health and 
the environment. The July 12, 2010, suspension expires by its terms on 
November 30, 2010, and it could be lifted earlier. A standard APA 
notice and comment rulemaking process would place the effective date of 
these measures beyond the expiration date of the suspension, which 
would mean that these operations could resume without the benefit of 
the new safety measures being in place. Therefore, BOEMRE believes that 
the delay associated with notice and comment has the potential to harm 
worker and public health and safety and the environment, and further 
justifies the immediate implementation of this interim final rule to 
all OCS drilling operations. To act otherwise has the potential to risk 
worker and environmental protection with inadequate regulatory 
coverage.
    BOEMRE is cognizant of the fact that the Secretary has the ability 
to extend the suspension of operations covered by his July 12, 2010, 
decision, or to apply the suspension to additional operations on the 
OCS. Immediate application of the safety measures in this interim final 
rule, however, will improve the reliability of well control systems, 
thereby allowing all oil and gas operations on the OCS to proceed in a 
more safe and environmentally sound manner.
    BOEMRE believes that much of the oil and gas industry is already 
well informed of the general provisions in this interim final rule, 
most of which were identified in the Safety Measures Report. 
Information gathered by BOEMRE in advance of this rulemaking indicates 
that BOP equipment manufacturers, drilling contractors, and operators 
are already working to address the recommendations. Establishing these 
requirements via an interim final rule will allow these entities to 
make

[[Page 63356]]

informed financial and operational decisions earlier.
    As previously noted, these regulations were developed without the 
benefit of the conclusive findings from the ongoing investigations into 
the root causes of the explosions and fire on the Deepwater Horizon. In 
the future, based on the comments we receive on this rule and the 
additional findings of ongoing investigations, BOEMRE may issue 
additional regulations or amendments to these regulations that will be 
intended to further increase the safety of offshore oil and gas 
operations.

VI. Section-By-Section Discussion of Requirements in the Interim Final 
Rule

Documents Incorporated by Reference (Sec.  250.198)

Code of Federal Regulations, Title 30--MINERAL RESOURCES
    BOEMRE is revising the title of Chapter II to, ``CHAPTER II--BUREAU 
OF OCEAN ENERGY MANAGEMENT, REGULATION AND ENFORCEMENT, DEPARTMENT OF 
THE INTERIOR.'' On June 18, 2010, the Secretary of the Interior changed 
the name of the Minerals Management Service (MMS) to the Bureau of 
Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE). This rule 
updates the heading of Chapter II in Title 30, Volume 2, of the Code of 
Federal Regulations to reflect this change.
    Paragraph (a)(3) was added to clarify that the documents 
incorporated by reference into the regulations are requirements. In the 
National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995, Congress 
directed Federal agencies to use technical standards that are developed 
or adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies. In Sec.  250.198, 
BOEMRE incorporates by reference many consensus technical standards 
including recommended practices, code requirements, and specifications. 
The effect of incorporating these standards into Federal regulations is 
confirmed in regulations issued by the Office of the Federal Register 
(1 CFR 51.9(b)), which requires agencies to inform the user that an 
incorporated publication is a requirement.
    When BOEMRE incorporates a document by reference, any 
recommendations in the document will be interpreted as requirements, 
unless otherwise specified. For example, this section incorporates API 
documents that recommend certain actions using the word should. In the 
Foreword to its recommended practices, API explains that the word shall 
indicates that the recommended practice has universal applicability to 
the specific activity, while the word should denotes a recommended 
practice where a safe comparable alternative practice is available. 
Despite this explanation, for API documents incorporated by reference 
into this part, the terms should and shall mean must. For example, API 
RP 53, sections 17.10, 17.11, 17.12, 18.10, 18.11, and 18.12, are 
currently incorporated by reference in Sec.  250.446(a). By adding 
paragraph (a)(3) to this interim final rule, which explains that the 
words should and shall both mean must, BOEMRE clarifies to the 
operators that they must follow all of the provisions of these API RP 
53 sections.
    Paragraph (h)(79) was added to this section and incorporates by 
reference API RP 65--Part 2, Isolating Potential Flow Zones During Well 
Construction, First Edition, May 2010. This document contains best 
practices for zone isolation in wells to prevent annular pressure and/
or flow through or past pressure-containment barriers that are 
installed and verified during well construction. Barriers that seal 
wellbore and formation pressures or flows may include temporary 
pressure containment barriers like hydrostatic head pressure during 
cement curing, and permanent ones such as mechanical seals, shoe 
formations, and cement. Other well construction (well design, drilling, 
leak-off tests, etc.,) practices that may affect barrier sealing 
performance are addressed along with methods to help ensure positive 
effects or to minimize any negative ones. The incorporation by 
reference of API RP 65--Part 2 addresses the Safety Measures Report 
recommendation II.B.3.7: Enforce Tighter Primary Cementing Practices.
    The citations for API RP 53 in Sec.  250.198(h)(63) were updated to 
include the requirements in Sec.  250.516 and new Sec.  250.617.
    A consensus standard indicates acceptance and recognition across 
the industry that this technology is feasible. For example, in its 
recommended practice publications, including API RP 65--Part 2 and API 
RP 53, API explains that its publications are intended to facilitate 
the broad availability of proven, sound engineering, and operating 
practices. The recommended practices are created with input from oil 
and gas operators, drilling contractors, service companies, 
consultants, and regulators; therefore, the recommended practices 
reflect an agreement that the specified practices and technologies are 
available and appropriate. Even though the development of a standard 
does not represent a 100% agreement by the task group members, the 
process provides a means for industry and regulatory bodies to develop 
protocols for the highly specialized equipment and procedures used in 
offshore oil and gas work. BOEMRE would not have the proper resources 
to develop information included in standards on its own (e.g. 
deepwater, High Pressure, High Temperature). BOEMRE regulatory program 
benefits from using the expertise in industry on offshore operations 
through the standards development process. Furthermore, in the National 
Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995, Congress directed 
Federal agencies to use technical standards that are developed or 
adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies (http://standards.gov/standards_gov/nttaa.cfm).
    When a copyrighted technical industry standard is incorporated by 
reference into our regulations, BOEMRE is obligated to observe and 
protect that copyright. BOEMRE provides members of the public with Web 
site addresses where these standards may be accessed for viewing--
sometimes for free and sometimes for a fee. The decision to charge a 
fee is decided by organizations developing the standard.
    For the convenience of the viewing public who may not wish to 
purchase these documents, they may be inspected at the Bureau of Ocean 
Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, 381 Elden Street, Room 
3313, Herndon, Virginia 20170; phone: 703-787-1587; or at the National 
Archives and Records Administration. For information on the 
availability of this material, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal_regulations/ibr_locations.html.
    These documents will continue to be made available to the public 
for viewing when requested. Specific information on where these 
documents can be inspected or purchased can be found at Sec.  250.198, 
Documents incorporated by reference.
    In addition, the API has decided to provide free online public 
access to 160 key industry standards, including a broad range of safety 
standards once changes to the API website are complete. The standards 
represent almost one-third of all API standards and will include all 
that are safety-related or have been incorporated into Federal 
regulations. The API will make these standards will be available online 
for review and hardcopies and printable versions will continue to be 
available for purchase. You may view or purchase

[[Page 63357]]

these API documents at: http://www.api.org/.

What must my casing and cementing programs include? (Sec.  250.415)

    In this section, BOEMRE added a new paragraph (f) requiring the 
operator to include in its APD an evaluation of the best practices 
identified in API RP 65--Part 2, Isolating Potential Flow Zones During 
Well Construction. We revised paragraphs (c), (d), and (e) to 
accommodate the new paragraph. Incorporating this document by reference 
will help ensure operators use best practices when designing their 
casing and cementing programs and will help ensure the integrity of the 
well, decreasing the risk of a loss of well control. Operators must 
submit a written description of their evaluation to BOEMRE that 
includes the mechanical barriers and cementing practices the operators 
will use for each casing string. Operators must exercise due diligence 
in understanding the variables involved when planning the casing and 
cementing program.
    The API RP 65--Part 2 addresses mechanical barriers in section 3. A 
mechanical barrier, as defined by this document, is a verifiable seal 
achieved by mechanical means between two casing strings or a casing 
string and the borehole that isolates all potential flowing zones at or 
below the wellhead, BOP, or diverter. The use of downhole mechanical 
barriers is complementary to properly executed cementing and not a 
replacement. The applications of subsurface mechanical barriers must be 
chosen with care.
    The API RP 65--Part 2, section 4, addresses cementing practices and 
factors affecting cementing. This section requires that casing and 
cementing programs address many of the key drilling issues that affect 
the quality of a primary cementing operation. Section 4 includes the 
best practices for the factors that must be considered and addresses 
the interrelationship between drilling operations and cementing 
success. BOEMRE is requiring operators to document how they evaluated 
these best practices, to ensure operators consider them while 
developing their casing and cementing programs.
    BOEMRE believes that this is an appropriate document to incorporate 
by reference. The key to successful use of this document for OCS 
cementing operations is implementation. The regulations will require 
that the operator address the document during the preparation of the 
APD and describe the cementing practices and barriers used for casing 
string. Including this information on the APD will help assure best 
practices are used for a particular operation. Incorporating this 
document will not address all issues associated with cementing 
practices; however, doing so gives the agency the ability to evaluate 
best cementing practices on a case by case basis. Additional cementing 
requirements may be identified as results of the many investigations of 
the Deepwater Horizon event but until then BOEMRE believes this is the 
best approach to requiring best cementing practices. These additions 
will allow BOEMRE to confirm that well construction is based on a 
complete evaluation of all critical factors (including mechanical 
barriers and cementing practices) involved in a casing and cementing 
program. This new requirement addresses Safety Measures Report 
recommendation II.B.3.7: Enforce Tighter Primary Cementing Practices.

What must I include in the diverter and BOP descriptions? (Sec.  
250.416)

    In this section, paragraph (d) was revised to include the 
submission of a schematic of all control systems, including primary 
control systems, secondary control systems, and pods for the BOP 
system. This requirement applies to both surface and subsea BOP 
systems. This will provide documentation for all control systems to 
BOEMRE. The location of the controls must be included. Secondary 
control systems include, but are not limited to, the following: ROV 
intervention panels located on the BOP, autoshear and deadman systems, 
power sources of each system, back up power sources, and acoustic 
systems.
    In this section, paragraph (e) was revised to require the operator 
to submit independent third party verification and supporting 
documentation that shows the blind-shear rams installed in the BOP 
stack are capable of shearing any drill pipe in the hole under maximum 
anticipated surface pressure, as recommended in the Safety Measures 
Report and included in NTL No. 2010-N05. This requirement applies to 
both surface and subsea BOP systems. The benefit of an independent 
third party is that it provides an objective and technically-informed 
review to properly verify capabilities of the blind-shear rams. 
Requiring independent third party verification and information about 
the blind-shear rams will help ensure that the appropriate shear rams 
are installed in the BOP. The documentation must include test results 
and calculations of shearing capacity of all pipe to be used in the 
well including correction for maximum anticipated surface pressure. 
Shearing capability tests can be performed on the drill pipe that 
requires the highest shear pressure. The operator must include a 
discussion on how the drill pipe used during the shear test required 
the highest shear pressure and was the most difficult to shear. The 
interim final rule will codify the section, ``Verification that Blind-
shear Rams Will Shear Pipe in the Hole'' in NTL No. 2010-N05.
    Paragraph (f) was added to require independent third party 
verification that a subsea BOP stack is designed for the specific 
equipment used on the rig. The independent third party must verify that 
the subsea BOP stack is compatible with the specific well location, 
well design, and well execution plan. Information showing that the 
shear rams are appropriate for the project must be included. The 
independent third party must also verify that the subsea BOP stack has 
not been damaged or compromised from previous service. Last, the 
independent third party must verify that a subsea BOP stack will 
operate in the conditions in which it will be used. This will ensure 
that all factors of drilling with subsea BOPs are considered when 
choosing well control equipment. This requirement applies to all APDs 
that request to use a subsea BOP stack. It applies to completion, 
workover, or abandonment operations. The interim final rule will codify 
the section, ``BOP Compatibility Verification for All Wells'' in NTL 
No. 2010-N05.
    Paragraph (g) was added and describes the criteria and 
documentation for an independent third party that must be submitted 
with the APD to BOEMRE for review. This is to ensure that the 
independent third party is capable of providing both an objective and a 
technically informed validation of the subjects being reviewed. The 
independent third party must be a technical classification society; an 
API licensed manufacturing, inspection, certification firm; or licensed 
professional engineering firm capable of providing the verifications 
required under this part. The independent third party must not be the 
original equipment manufacturer. The original equipment manufacturer is 
excluded because it has a financial interest in equipment being 
evaluated. Equipment manufacturers that do not have a financial 
interest in the equipment being evaluated may serve as an independent 
third party certifier if otherwise qualified. The operator must provide 
evidence to BOEMRE that the firm it is using is reputable; 
specifically, the firm or its employees hold appropriate licenses to 
perform the verification in the appropriate jurisdiction, the firm 
carries industry-

[[Page 63358]]

standard levels of professional liability insurance, and the firm has 
no record of violations of applicable law. Prior to any shearing ram 
tests or inspections, the operator must also notify the District 
Manager 24 hours in advance. The operator must ensure an official 
representative of BOEMRE access to the location to potentially witness 
any testing or inspections, or to verify information submitted to 
BOEMRE. This approach to document the qualifications of the independent 
third party is the same approach being followed for the documenting the 
independent third party required by NTL No. 2010-N05.
    The revised requirements in paragraph (d) address Safety Measures 
Report recommendation I.B.5: Secondary Control System Requirements and 
Guidelines. The requirements in paragraph (e) address Safety Measures 
Report recommendation I.C.7: Develop New Testing Requirements. The new 
requirements in paragraph (f) address Safety Measures Report 
recommendation I.A.2: Order BOP Equipment Compatibility Verification 
for Each Floating Vessel and for Each New Well. The criteria required 
for the independent third party are also addressed in NTL No. 2010-N05. 
These requirements will help ensure that the rig operator has the 
appropriate control systems in place, aiding the rig operator's ability 
to regain control of a well in the event of a loss of well control.

What additional information must I submit with my APD? (Sec.  250.418)

    In this section, new paragraph (h) was added that requires the 
operator to submit certifications of their casing and cementing program 
signed by a Registered Professional Engineer. The Registered 
Professional Engineer must be registered in a State in the United 
States but does not have to be a specific discipline. Certification by 
a Registered Professional Engineer will increase the likelihood that 
the casing and cementing program has been properly designed and 
implemented, and will provide adequate well control. The Registered 
Professional Engineer will certify that there will be at least two 
independent tested barriers across each flow path during well 
completion activities. The Registered Professional Engineer will also 
certify that the casing and cementing design is appropriate for the 
purpose for which it is intended under expected wellbore conditions. 
The operator must submit this certification to BOEMRE along with the 
APD. Paragraph (g) was revised to accommodate new paragraph (h). The 
interim final rule will codify requirements addressed under the 
section, ``Well Design and Construction for All Wells'' in NTL No. 
2010-N05. These requirements for additional barriers, and the 
certification of the cement design, will decrease the likelihood of a 
blowout. These requirements apply to new wells, sidetracks, bypasses, 
or deepened wells.
    In this section, a new paragraph (i) was added requiring the 
operator to submit a description of qualifications of any independent 
third party. Operators must formally notify BOEMRE of their independent 
third parties. The description must be submitted with the APD and may 
include the following:
    1. Name and address of the individual or organization;
    2. Size and type of the organization or corporation;
    3. Previous experience as a Certified Entity, Certified 
Verification Agent (CVA), or similar third-party representative;
    4. Experience in design, fabrication, or installation of BOPs and 
related equipment;
    5. Technical capabilities (including professional certifications 
and organizational memberships) of the third party or the primary staff 
to be associated with the certifying functions for the specific 
project;
    6. In-house availability of, or access to, appropriate technology 
(i.e., computer modeling programs and hardware, testing materials, and 
equipment);
    7. Ability to perform and effectively manage certifying functions, 
inspections, and tests for the specific project considering current 
resource availability;
    8. Previous experience with regulatory requirements and procedures;
    9. Evidence that the third party is not owned or controlled by the 
designer, manufacturer, or supplier of the system or its subsystems to 
be inspected or tested under regulations applicable to this device or 
any manufacturer of similar equipment or material;
    10. The level of work to be performed by the third party; and
    11. A list of documents and certifications expected to be furnished 
to BOEMRE by the third party.
    The new requirements address the Safety Measures Report 
recommendation II.B.1.3: New Casing and Cement Design Requirements: Two 
Independent Tested Barriers and recommendation I.C.7: Develop New 
Testing Requirements.

What well casing and cementing requirements must I meet? (Sec.  
250.420)

    In this section, new paragraph (a)(6) was added that requires the 
operators to submit certification of their casing and cementing program 
signed by a Registered Professional Engineer (see discussion under 
section 250.418, above). The Registered Professional Engineer must be 
registered in a State in the United States. As mentioned previously, 
the Registered Professional Engineer does not have to be from a 
specific discipline, but must be capable of reviewing and certifying 
that the casing design is appropriate for the purpose for which it is 
intended under expected wellbore conditions. The Registered 
Professional Engineer will certify that there will be at least two 
independent tested barriers, including one mechanical barrier, across 
each flow path during well completion activities. The Registered 
Professional Engineer will also certify the casing and cementing design 
is appropriate for the purpose for which it is intended under expected 
wellbore conditions. The operator must submit this certification to 
BOEMRE along with the APD. The operator should not deviate from the 
certified procedure; if the operator deviates from the certified 
procedures, they must contact the appropriate District Manager. 
Paragraphs (a)(4) and (a)(5) were revised to accommodate the new 
paragraph (a)(6). The interim final rule will codify the section, 
``Well Design and Construction for All Wells'' in NTL No. 2010-N05. The 
certification of the casing and cementing program will help ensure that 
the appropriate program is used for the well and decrease the 
likelihood of a blowout.
    A new paragraph (b)(3) was also added, requiring the operator to 
install dual mechanical barriers in addition to cement for the final 
casing string (or liner if it is the final string), to prevent flow in 
the event of a failure in the cement. These may include dual float 
valves, or one float valve and a mechanical barrier. The operator must 
document the installation of the dual mechanical barriers and submit 
this documentation to BOEMRE 30 days after installation. References to 
days in this rule are always in calendar days. The interim final rule 
will codify the section, ``Well Design and Construction for All Wells'' 
in NTL No. 2010-N05.
    These new requirements will help ensure that the best casing and 
cementing design will be used for a specific well. The new requirements 
in paragraphs (a)(6) and (b)(3) address the Safety Measures Report 
recommendation II.B.1.3: New Casing

[[Page 63359]]

and Cement Design Requirements: Two Independent Tested Barriers.

What are the requirements for pressure testing casing? (Sec.  250.423)

    This section was reorganized to accommodate new requirements: the 
current regulations were redesignated as paragraph (a) and new 
paragraphs (b) and (c) were added. Paragraph (b) requires the operator 
to perform a pressure test on the casing seal assembly to ensure proper 
installation of casing or liner in the subsea wellhead or liner hanger. 
This must be done for intermediate and production casing strings or 
liner. To install casing in the subsea wellhead, the operator runs and 
lands the casing hanger tool, cements the casing, latches the casing 
hanger in place, and finally pressure sets and tests the seal. This 
test ensures that the casing hanger latching mechanism, or lockdown 
mechanism, is engaged, ensuring the integrity of the casing. The 
operator must submit the test procedures and criteria used for a 
successful test with the APD to BOEMRE for approval. The operator must 
record the test results and make the results available to BOEMRE upon 
request. As required in Sec.  250.466, records for well operations must 
be kept onsite while drilling activities continue. The interim final 
rule will codify requirements addressed under the section, ``Well 
Design and Construction for All Wells'' in NTL No. 2010-N05.
    Paragraph (c) requires the operator to perform a negative pressure 
test on all wells to ensure proper installation of casing for the 
intermediate and production casing strings. The operator must submit 
the procedures and criteria for a successful test with the APD for 
approval. The operator must record the test results and make available 
to BOEMRE upon request. A negative pressure test will help ensure that 
the casing, along with the cement, provides a seal.
    The new requirements in this section will help ensure proper casing 
installation and evaluate the integrity of the casing and cement. The 
new requirements in this section address the Safety Measures Report 
recommendations II.B.1.3: New Casing and Cement Design Requirements: 
Two Independent Tested Barriers; II.B.2.5: New Casing Installation 
Procedures; and II.B.2.6: Develop Additional Requirements or Guidelines 
for Casing Installation.

What are the requirements for a subsea BOP system? (Sec.  250.442)

    This section requires that when drilling with a subsea BOP system, 
the BOP system must be installed before drilling below the surface 
casing. The table in this section outlines the requirements, including:
    a. The minimum number of each type of BOP,
    b. dual-pod control systems,
    c. accumulator operations,
    d. ROV intervention,
    e. maintaining an ROV and ROV crew training,
    f. autoshear and deadman capability and optional acoustic system 
for dynamically positioned rigs,
    g. accidental disconnect avoidance,
    h. BOP control panel labels,
    i. BOP management system,
    j. personnel training for BOP equipment,
    k. marine riser removal, and
    l. avoiding ice scour.
    Paragraph (a) was revised to clarify that the blind-shear rams must 
be capable of shearing any drill pipe in the hole under maximum 
anticipated surface pressures. When drilling with a subsea BOP stack, 
the operator must have a minimum of four remote controlled 
hydraulically operated BOPs. The BOPs must include one annular 
preventer, two sets of pipe rams, and one set of blind-shear rams.
    The requirement in paragraph (b) to have an operable dual-pod 
control system and the requirement in paragraph (c) to follow API RP 
53, Section 13.3, Accumulator Volumetric Capacity, were not revised. 
The operator must meet the volume capacities for all subsea 
accumulators and must meet the closing times specified in API RP 53, 
Section 13.3.5, Accumulator Response Time: The BOP control system must 
be capable of closing each ram BOP in 45 seconds or less; closing time 
must not exceed 60 seconds for annular BOPs; operating response time 
for choke and kill valves must not exceed the minimum observed ram BOP 
close response time; and time to unlatch the LMRP must not exceed 45 
seconds.
    Requirements related to ROV intervention in paragraph (d) were 
added. The subsea BOP stack must be equipped with ROV intervention 
capability to operate one set of pipe rams and one set of blind-shear 
rams as well as unlatch the LMRP. The BOP-ROV interface must allow 
sufficient volume to actuate all required functions. This requirement 
will ensure that the dedicated ROV has the capacity to close the BOP 
functions and secure the well in sufficient time during a well control 
event. The interim final rule will codify the section, ``ROV Hot Stab 
Function Testing of the ROV Intervention Panel'' in NTL No. 2010-N05.
    In paragraph (e), the operator is required to maintain an ROV and 
have a trained ROV crew on each floating drilling rig on a continuous 
basis. The crew must be trained in the operation of the ROV. The 
training must include simulator training on stabbing into an ROV 
intervention panel on a subsea BOP stack. This requirement will help 
provide assurance that a properly trained crew is available for use 
during an emergency situation.
    Requirements related to autoshear and deadman systems in paragraph 
(f) were added. Autoshear, deadman, and acoustic systems are all 
emergency systems. Dynamically positioned rigs must have autoshear and 
deadman systems. Autoshear system is defined as a safety system that is 
designed to automatically shut in the wellbore in the event of an 
unplanned disconnect of the LMRP. When the autoshear is armed, a 
disconnect of the LMRP closes the shear rams. Deadman system is defined 
as a safety system that is designed to automatically close the wellbore 
in the event of a simultaneous absence of hydraulic supply and signal 
transmission capacity in both subsea control pods. Both autoshear and 
deadman are considered ``rapid discharge'' systems. Dynamically 
positioned rigs may also use an acoustic system. An acoustic signal 
transmission may be used as an emergency backup that controls critical 
BOP functions. However, BOEMRE believes additional evaluation is 
necessary to determine the reliability of acoustic signal transmission 
as a mandatory backup control system. Industry, academics and other 
stakeholders have raised concerns about how the differences in water 
temperatures between water layers (deepwater thermocline) will affect 
the transmission of the acoustic signal to the BOP stack when installed 
in deepwater. Similar concerns were raised about how different 
salinities between water layers, noise from a wild well, or other 
subsea noise may interfere with the successful transmission of the 
acoustic signals to the BOP stack. Further investigation of these 
concerns is needed before deciding to require the installation of an 
acoustic backup control system. The interim final rule will codify the 
section, ``Secondary Control System Requirements and Guidelines for 
Subsea BOP Stacks'' in NTL No. 2010-N05.
    In paragraph (g), the operator is required to have operational or 
physical barrier(s) on BOP control panels to prevent accidental use of 
disconnect functions. The operator must incorporate enable buttons on 
control panels to ensure two-handed operation for all critical 
functions. The new requirements in this paragraph will

[[Page 63360]]

reduce the chances of an accidental disconnect by requiring two 
separate actions to activate all critical functions.
    In paragraph (h), the operator is required to clearly label all 
control panels for the subsea BOP system. The operator must include all 
BOP controls such as hydraulic control panels and ROV interface on the 
BOP. The new requirements in this paragraph will help to ensure that 
the correct function is executed. The labeling of all functions will 
also assist in proper usage in an emergency situation.
    In paragraph (i), the operator is required to develop and use a 
management system for operating the BOP system. This includes guidance 
to prevent accidental or unplanned disconnects of the system. This 
management system must include written procedures for operating the BOP 
stack and LMRP, and minimum knowledge requirements for personnel 
authorized to operate and maintain BOP components. A copy of these 
written procedures should be maintained on the drilling rig and in 
other readily accessible locations. These procedures must be made 
available to all relevant personnel. The new requirements in this 
paragraph will help to ensure that the correct function is executed in 
an emergency situation.
    Paragraph (j) requires the operator to establish minimum 
requirements for personnel authorized to operate critical BOP 
equipment. This training must include deepwater well control theory and 
practice in accordance with 30 CFR part 250, subpart O, and a 
comprehensive knowledge of BOP hardware and control systems.
    Paragraphs (k) and (l) are currently required, but were reformatted 
into the table. Paragraph (k) requires the operator to displace the 
fluid in the riser with seawater before removing the marine riser; 
while conducting this operation, the operator must maintain sufficient 
hydrostatic pressure on the well or take other suitable precautions to 
compensate for the reduction in pressure to maintain well control. 
Paragraph (l) requires that when drilling in an ice-scour area, the BOP 
stack must be installed in a glory hole (a depression deep enough that 
the equipment is protected).
    These requirements help ensure enhanced operability of subsea BOP 
systems. These requirements will also help to ensure that the proper 
personnel are trained to have a comprehensive knowledge of well control 
equipment, maintain well control equipment, operate essential well 
control equipment, and manage a well control situation.
    The ROV intervention capability and autoshear and deadman 
requirements in this section address Safety Measures Report 
recommendation I.B.5: Secondary Control System Requirements and 
Guidelines, and recommendation I.B.6: New ROV Operating Capabilities. 
The new requirements also meet Safety Measures Report recommendation 
II.A.1: Establish Deepwater Well-Control Procedure Guidelines.

What are the BOP maintenance and inspection requirements? (Sec.  
250.446)

    Paragraph (a) of this section was changed to require the operator 
to document the maintenance and inspections of their BOP system. The 
requirement that BOP maintenance and inspections must meet or exceed 
the provisions of Sections 17.10 and 18.10, Inspections; Sections 17.11 
and 18.11, Maintenance; and Sections 17.12 and 18.12, Quality 
Management; described in API RP 53, Recommended Practices for Blowout 
Prevention Equipment Systems for Drilling Wells (incorporated by 
reference as specified in Sec.  250.198) was not changed. The operator 
must document the procedures used, record the results, and make the 
results available to BOEMRE upon request. The operator must maintain 
the records on the rig for 2 years or from the date of the last major 
inspection, whichever is longer.
    The BOP maintenance, inspections, and quality management are 
essential components to ensuring BOP integrity and operability. 
According to API RP 53, Section 17.10 (surface BOPs) and Section 18.10 
(subsea BOPs), operators must perform a between-well inspection, a 
visual inspection of flexible choke and kill lines, and a major 3-5 
year inspection. According to API RP 53, Section 17.11 (surface BOPs) 
and Section 18.11 (subsea BOPs), operators are required to maintain BOP 
manuals, connections, replacement parts, torque requirements, equipment 
storage, lubricants and hydraulic fluids, weld repairs, and mud/gas 
separators. According to API RP 53, Section 17.12 (surface BOPs) and 
Section 18.12 (subsea BOPs), operators are required to have a planned 
maintenance system, with equipment identified, tasks specified, and the 
time intervals between tasks stated. Records of maintenance performed 
and repairs made must be retained on file at the rig site or readily 
available.
    The interim final rule will codify the section, ``BOP Inspection, 
Maintenance, and Repair for All Wells'' in NTL No. 2010-N05. The 
documentation for BOP maintenance, repairs, and inspections meet the 
Safety Measures Report recommendation I.B.5: Secondary Control System 
Requirements and Guidelines.

What additional BOP testing requirements must I meet? (Sec.  250.449)

    New paragraphs (j) and (k) were added and paragraphs (h) and (i) 
were revised to accommodate the new paragraphs. New paragraph (j) 
requires the testing of ROV intervention functions on a subsea BOP 
stack. The ROV intervention functions must be tested during the stump 
test. This test must include ensuring that the hot stabs are function 
tested and are capable of actuating one set of pipe rams and one set of 
blind-shear rams, as well as unlatching the LMRP. The operator must 
also test at least one set of rams during the initial test on the 
seafloor. The BOP-ROV interface must allow sufficient volume to actuate 
all required functions. The operator must document the test results and 
make them available to BOEMRE upon request. This will help to ensure 
that the ROV and hot stabs are capable of actuating the BOP rams and 
LMRP disconnect. The interim final rule will codify requirements 
addressed under the section, ``ROV Hot Stab Function Testing of the ROV 
Intervention Panel'' in NTL No. 2010-N05; which required testing of ROV 
intervention functions during the stump test. The interim final rule 
will also require function testing during the initial test on the 
seafloor. A successful test will help ensure that the ROV and BOP are 
capable of operating as designed under conditions at water depth.
    New paragraph (k) requires function testing of the autoshear and 
deadman systems on the BOP stack during the stump test. The operator 
must submit the testing procedures for these requirements with the APD 
or APM for BOEMRE approval. This should include the sequence of BOP 
functions that will activate when the autoshear and deadman systems are 
triggered. These requirements will help to ensure that a well is 
secured in an emergency situation, loss of power, or accidental 
disconnect, preventing the possible loss of well control. The ROV 
intervention capability and autoshear and deadman requirements in this 
section address Safety Measures Report recommendation I.B.5: Secondary 
Control System Requirements and Guidelines and recommendation I.C.7: 
Develop New Testing Requirements.

[[Page 63361]]

What must I do in certain situations involving BOP equipment or 
systems? (Sec.  250.451)

    A new item was added to the table, requiring the operator to 
perform a full pressure test when the blind-shear rams or casing shear 
rams are used in an emergency. Following activation of the blind-shear 
rams or casing shear rams, in which pipe or casing is sheared during a 
well control situation, the operator must retrieve and physically 
inspect the BOP and conduct a full pressure test of the BOP stack, 
after the situation is fully controlled. This will help ensure the 
integrity of the BOP and that the BOP will fully function and hold 
pressure after the event. If rams, sealing elements, or other equipment 
are damaged, they must be replaced or repaired.
    The interim final rule will codify the section, ``BOP Inspection 
Testing after Well Control Event for All Wells'' in NTL No. 2010-N05. 
The tests required after a well control event in this section addresses 
Safety Measures Report recommendation I.C.7: Develop New Testing 
Requirements.

What safe practices must the drilling fluid program follow? (Sec.  
250.456)

    A new paragraph (j) was added, the current (j) was redesignated to 
paragraph (k) and paragraph (i) was revised to accommodate the new 
paragraph. The new paragraph (j) requires approval from the District 
Manager before displacing kill-weight drilling fluid from the wellbore. 
The operator must submit with the APD or APM the reasons for displacing 
the kill-weight drilling fluid and provide detailed step-by-step 
written procedures describing how the operator will safely displace 
these fluids. The step-by-step displacement procedures must address the 
following:
    1. Number and type of independent barriers that are in place for 
each flow path;
    2. Tests to ensure integrity of independent barriers;
    3. BOP procedures used while displacing kill weight fluids; and
    4. Procedures to monitor fluids entering and leaving the wellbore.
    These new requirements better ensure that well control is not 
compromised when displacing kill-weight fluid out of the wellbore. The 
requirement to submit procedures for kill-weight drilling fluid 
displacement in this section addresses Safety Measures Report 
recommendation II.A.2: New Fluid Displacement Procedures.

Blowout prevention equipment. (Sec.  250.515)

    This section added requirements of Sec.  250.442 in subpart D, Oil 
and Gas Drilling Operations, to the requirements for well completion 
operations using a subsea BOP stack.

Blowout preventer system tests, inspections, and maintenance. (Sec.  
250.516)

    Paragraph (d)(8) was added to require tests for ROV intervention 
functions during the stump test. Paragraph (d)(9) was added to require 
a function test of the autoshear and deadman system. Paragraph (d)(6) 
was revised to accommodate the new paragraphs. This section adds the 
requirements of Sec.  250.449 in subpart D, Oil and Gas Drilling 
Operations, to the requirements for well completion operations using a 
subsea BOP stack. The interim final rule will require successful 
testing of both systems during the stump test. Successful tests will 
ensure the autoshear and deadman system are operating as designed. A 
function test of the deadman system is also required during the initial 
test on the seafloor. Successful testing the deadman system during the 
initial test on the seafloor will ensure the system is capable of 
operating as designed under conditions at water depth.
    Paragraphs (g) and (h) were revised to expand and clarify the 
requirements for inspections and maintenance. The BOP maintenance, 
inspections, and quality management are essential to BOP operability. 
This section adds requirements of Sec.  250.446 in subpart D, Oil and 
Gas Drilling Operations, to the requirements for well completion 
operations using a subsea BOP stack. The operator must maintain the 
records on the rig for 2 years or from the date of the last major 
inspection, whichever is longer.
    The documentation for BOP maintenance, repairs, and inspections 
meets the Safety Measures Report recommendation I.B.5: Secondary 
Control System Requirements and Guidelines and recommendation I.C.7: 
Develop New Testing Requirements.

Blowout prevention equipment. (Sec.  250.615)

    This section added requirements of Sec.  250.442 in subpart D, Oil 
and Gas Drilling Operations, to the requirements for well workover 
operations using a subsea BOP stack.

Blowout preventer system testing, records, and drills. (Sec.  250.616)

    Paragraph (h)(1) was added to require tests for ROV intervention 
functions during the stump test. Paragraph (h)(2) was added to require 
a function test of the autoshear and deadman systems. Paragraph (h)(3) 
was added to require the use of water to stump test a subsea BOP 
system. This section adds the requirements of Sec.  250.449 in subpart 
D, Oil and Gas Drilling Operations, to the requirements for well 
workover operations using a subsea BOP stack. The interim final rule 
will require testing of both systems during the stump test. Successful 
tests will ensure the autoshear and deadman systems are operating as 
designed. A function test of the deadman system is also required during 
the initial test on the seafloor. Testing the deadman system during the 
initial test on the seafloor will help ensure the system is capable of 
operating as designed under conditions at water depth.

What are my BOP inspection and maintenance requirements? (Sec.  
250.617)

    This section was added to apply the requirements of Sec.  250.446 
in subpart D, Oil and Gas Drilling Operations, to the requirements for 
well workover operations using a subsea BOP stack.

Definitions. (Sec.  250.1500)

    BOEMRE revised the definition of well control by creating separate 
definitions for the terms well servicing and well completion/well 
workover.
    A new definition for deepwater well control was added. The rule 
adds deepwater well control throughout subpart O as one of the subjects 
for employee and contract personnel training. This clarification helps 
ensure that rig personnel are trained in deepwater well control and the 
specific duties, equipment, and techniques associated with deepwater 
drilling.

What are my general responsibilities for training? (Sec.  250.1503)

    In this section, new paragraph (b) was added and current paragraphs 
(b) and (c) were redesignated as (c) and (d). The operator is required 
to ensure that employees and contract personnel are trained in 
deepwater well control when conducting operations with a subsea BOP 
stack. They must have a comprehensive knowledge of deepwater well 
control equipment, practices, and theory. This clarification of 
existing requirements addresses Safety Measures Report recommendation 
II.A.1: Establish Deepwater Well-Control Procedure Guidelines.

[[Page 63362]]

What information must I submit before I permanently plug a well or 
zone? (Sec.  250.1712)

    In this section, new paragraph (g) was added and paragraphs (e) and 
(f)(14) were revised to accommodate the new paragraph. New paragraph 
(g) requires operators to submit certification by a Registered 
Professional Engineer of the well abandonment design and procedures. 
The Registered Professional Engineer must be registered in a State in 
the United States. The Registered Professional Engineer does not have 
to be a specific discipline, but must be capable of reviewing and 
certifying that the casing design is appropriate for the purpose for 
which it is intended under expected wellbore conditions. The Registered 
Professional Engineer will certify that there will be at least two 
independent tested barriers, including one mechanical barrier, across 
each flow path during well abandonment activities. The Registered 
Professional Engineer will also certify that the plug meets the 
requirements in the table in Sec.  250.1715. This will help ensure the 
integrity of the well. The operator must submit this certification 
along with the APM. The operator should not deviate from the certified 
procedure; if the operator deviates from the certified procedures, they 
must contact the appropriate District Manager. The interim final rule 
will codify the section, ``Well Design and Construction for All Wells'' 
in NTL No. 2010-N05. This new requirement addresses Safety Measures 
Report recommendation II.B.1.3: New Casing and Cement Design 
Requirements: Two Independent Tested Barriers.

If I temporarily abandon a well that I plan to re-enter, what must I 
do? (Sec.  250.1721)

    In this section, new paragraph (h) was added to require operators 
to submit certification by a Registered Professional Engineer of the 
well abandonment design and procedures. The Registered Professional 
Engineer does not have to be a specific discipline. The Registered 
Professional Engineer must be registered in a State in the United 
States. As mentioned previously, the Registered Professional Engineer 
does not have to be a specific discipline, but must be capable of 
reviewing and certifying that the casing design is appropriate for the 
purpose for which it is intended under expected wellbore conditions. 
The Registered Professional Engineer will certify that there will be at 
least two independent tested barriers, including one mechanical 
barrier, across each flow path during well abandonment activities. This 
will help ensure the integrity of the well. The operator must submit 
this certification to BOEMRE along with the APM, as required in Sec.  
250.1712 and is responsible for ensuring that the approved well 
abandonment design and procedures are followed. The operator should not 
deviate from the certified procedure, if the operator deviates from the 
certified procedures they must contact the appropriate District 
Manager. Paragraphs (e) and (g)(3) were revised to accommodate the new 
paragraph. The interim final rule will codify requirements addressed 
under the section, ``Well Design and Construction for All Wells'' in 
NTL No. 2010-N05. This new requirement addresses Safety Measures Report 
recommendation II.B.1.3: New Casing and Cement Design Requirements: Two 
Independent Tested Barriers.

VII. Additional Recommendations in the Safety Measures Report Not 
Covered in This Interim Final Rule

    As discussed previously, this interim final rule incorporates some, 
but not all items from the Safety Measures Report. The following tables 
specifically identify which measures from the Safety Measures Report 
are not covered in the interim final rule. BOEMRE anticipates it will 
be able to address these measures in notice and comment rulemakings in 
the future.
    Items in the Safety Measures Report that are not covered in this 
interim final rule, and which BOEMRE anticipates addressing either in 
the near future, or at a later time after further review and analysis, 
are as follows:

                       Items for Future Rulemaking
------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Number                           Recommendation
------------------------------------------------------------------------
I.A.3.............................  Develop Formal Equipment
                                     Certification Requirements.
I.B.4.............................  New Blind Shear Ram Redundancy
                                     Requirement.
II.B.3.8..........................  Develop Additional Requirements or
                                     Guidelines for Evaluation of Cement
                                     Integrity.
II.C.9............................  Increase Federal Government Wild-
                                     Well Intervention Capabilities.
II.C.10...........................  Study Innovative Wild-Well
                                     Intervention, Response Techniques,
                                     and Response Planning.
III.C.2...........................  Adopt Safety Case Requirements for
                                     Floating Drilling Operations on the
                                     OCS.
III.C.4...........................  Study Additional Safety Training and
                                     Certification Requirements.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    There are also certain items which, although they are included in 
this interim final rule, BOEMRE anticipates expanding upon in the 
future. BOEMRE is specifically considering additional rulemaking 
activity concerning the following:

      Items Included in This Rule Under Consideration for Expansion
------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Number                           Recommendation
------------------------------------------------------------------------
I.B.5.............................  Secondary Control System
                                     Requirements and Guidelines.
I.B.6.............................  New ROV Operating Capabilities.
II.A.1............................  Establish Deepwater Well-Control
                                     Procedure Guidelines.
II.B.1.4..........................  Study Formal Personnel Training
                                     Requirements for Casing and
                                     Cementing Operations.
II.B.2.6..........................  Develop Additional Requirements or
                                     Guidelines for Casing Installation.
II.B.3.7..........................  Enforce Tighter Primary Cementing
                                     Practices.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Additionally, as discussed further, BOEMRE is examining a variety 
of other well control issues related to OCS drilling to determine how 
to improve future safety on the OCS in light of the Deepwater Horizon 
event.
    BOEMRE recognizes that this interim final rule does not fully 
address all issues associated with OCS drilling operations, although it 
is a critical step. We anticipate future rulemakings as we learn more 
about the causes of the Deepwater Horizon event and other issues 
associated with deepwater drilling operations. Future rulemakings will 
be based on recommendations in the Safety Measures Report that require 
further development, the results of the joint USCG-BOEMRE 
investigation, other investigations and inquiries, and findings from 
technology-focused research led by DOI strike teams and interagency 
workgroups. Some of the issues that are addressed by this rulemaking, 
such as cementing and casing design, will be considered for additional 
rulemaking in the future. We will consider additional measures, after 
we have more thoroughly studied these issues and assessed the best 
approaches.
    BOEMRE has identified the following issues as likely topics for 
both near-term and future rulemakings:

Well Control Issues

    While the content of these future rulemakings will depend in part 
on the findings of the various investigations, BOEMRE anticipates that 
future rules will focus on well control issues. More specifically this 
will include:
    1. Cementing and casing--BOEMRE anticipates examining the need for 
additional cement evaluation

[[Page 63363]]

procedures and training needs for personnel involved in cementing and 
casing operations, and intends to incorporate findings as appropriate 
from the investigations related to the Deepwater Horizon event.
    2. Fluid displacement--BOEMRE intends to further evaluate the 
effectiveness of new fluid displacement requirements to determine if it 
needs to establish different or enhanced fluid displacement procedures.
    3. BOPs--BOEMRE anticipates rulemaking to address BOP 
recommendations resulting from the joint BOEMRE and United States Coast 
Guard investigation of the Deepwater Horizon event. Rulemaking will 
also likely address the requirement to have two sets of blind shear 
rams as recommended in the Safety Measures Report and discussed 
previously. Rulemakings will also likely consider requirements for 
casing shear rams, minimum number of pipe rams, second annular 
preventer for subsea BOP stacks, and electronic BOP logs. Another area 
mentioned in the Safety Measures Report is the need for periodic 
certification of the BOP stack or specific BOP components. BOEMRE 
wishes to undertake additional research on how these certifications 
should be done and how often they should occur.
    4. Secondary control systems and ROVs--Future rulemaking may 
address autoshear and deadman requirements for all rigs with subsea BOP 
stacks, enhanced ROV intervention capability, and subsea accumulator 
volumes to ensure fast closure of BOPs and choke and kill lines. The 
need for effective tertiary control systems, such as an acoustic 
system, will also be examined and addressed as appropriate.
    5. Wild-well intervention techniques--BOEMRE will conduct research 
on this topic and evaluate the progress industry has made to establish 
deepwater wild-well intervention as it moves forward with rulemaking on 
wild well intervention.
    6. Industry training--BOEMRE will investigate safety training 
requirements for deepwater drilling operations and determine the 
appropriate manner to regulate the training of personnel.
    7. Oil spill response--BOEMRE anticipates future rulemaking to 
address the capture and disposition of oil released from a deepwater 
well blowout at the seafloor.
    8. Organization and safety management--The Safety Measures Report 
recommended that the DOI evaluate the need to require all or part of 
the International Association of Drilling Contractors' Health, Safety, 
and Environmental Case Guidelines for Mobile Drilling Units. BOEMRE 
will evaluate the guidelines and determine how they will best fit with 
SEMS regulations that are being considered by BOEMRE for final 
publication in a separate rulemaking. BOEMRE published a notice of 
proposed rulemaking on SEMS requirements on June 17, 2009 (74 FR 
28639).

Technical Consensus Standards

    BOEMRE is aware that various organizations which support the 
offshore oil and gas industry are also studying the possible causes of 
the Deepwater Horizon event. Based on their findings, these 
organizations may make recommendations to their members on practices to 
increase the safety of offshore oil and gas operations in general with 
specific recommendations related to deepwater drilling operations. 
BOEMRE is reviewing the following subjects:
1. API Documents Concerning Cementing Practices
    In Sec.  250.198 of this interim final rule, BOEMRE incorporates 
API RP 65--Part 2, Isolating Potential Flow Zones During Well 
Construction, which summarizes best practices and addresses basic 
issues associated with cementing practices. The API has additional 
documents that address cementing practices in more detail.
2. Discussion of Additional Specifications and Recommended Practices
API Spec 16A: Specification for Drill-Through Equipment
    This standard specifies requirements for performance, design, 
materials, testing and inspection, welding, marking, handling, storing, 
and shipping of drill-through equipment used for drilling for oil and 
gas. It also defines service conditions in terms of pressure, 
temperature, and wellbore fluids for which the equipment will be 
designed. This standard is applicable to, and establishes requirements 
for, the following specific equipment: ram BOPs; ram blocks, packers, 
and top seals; annular BOPs; annular packing units; hydraulic 
connectors; drilling spools; adapters; loose connectors; and clamps.
API Spec 16D: Specification for Control Systems for Drilling Well 
Control Equipment and Control Systems for Diverter Equipment
    This specification provides design standards for systems used to 
control the BOP and associated valves that control well pressure during 
drilling operations. Diverter control systems are included in this 
specification because they are included in the BOP control system. This 
specification addresses the following categories: control systems for 
surface BOP stacks, control systems for subsea BOP stacks, discrete 
hydraulic control systems for subsea BOP stacks, electro-hydraulic/
multiplex control systems for subsea BOP stacks, control systems for 
diverter equipment, auxiliary equipment control systems and interfaces, 
emergency disconnect sequenced systems (EDS), backup systems, and 
special deepwater/harsh environment features.
    Certain standards in API Spec. 16D are of particular interest. 
These include optional sections--5.7 Emergency Disconnect Sequenced 
Systems (EDS), 5.8 Backup Control Systems, and 5.9 Special Deepwater/
Harsh Environment Features. The EDS systems are required for floating 
drilling rigs in order to quickly disconnect the riser in the event of 
an inability to maintain rig position within a prescribed watch circle. 
Backup Control Systems include standards on acoustic systems, ROV 
control systems, LMRP recovery systems, and backup power supply. The 
Deepwater/Harsh Environment features give specifications for autoshear 
and deadman systems.
API Spec 17D: Specification for Subsea Wellhead and Christmas Tree 
Equipment
    This specification was formulated to provide for the availability 
of safe, dimensionally, and functionally interchangeable subsea 
wellhead, mudline, and tree equipment. The technical content provides 
requirements for performance, design, materials, testing, inspection, 
welding, marking, handling, storing, and shipping. Critical components 
are those parts having a requirement specified in this document. Rework 
and repair of used equipment are beyond the scope of this 
specification.
API Recommended Practice 17H; ISO 13628-8: Remotely Operated Vehicle 
(ROV) Interfaces on Subsea Production Systems
    This recommended practice gives functional requirements and 
guidelines for ROV interfaces on subsea production systems for the 
petroleum and natural gas industries. It is applicable to both the 
selection and use of ROV interfaces on subsea production equipment, and 
provides guidance on design as well as the operational requirements for 
maximizing the potential of standard equipment and design principles. 
The auditable information for subsea systems this document offers 
allows

[[Page 63364]]

interfacing and actuation by ROV-operated systems, while it identifies 
issues that have to be considered when designing interfaces on subsea 
production systems. The framework and detailed specifications set out 
enable the user to select the correct interface for a specific 
application.
API Recommended Practice 53: Recommended Practices for Blowout 
Prevention Equipment Systems for Drilling Wells
    This recommended practice provides guidance for installation and 
testing of surface and subsea BOP equipment systems. This equipment 
system consists of a BOP, choke and kill lines, marine riser, and 
auxiliary equipment. The primary function of a BOP equipment system is 
to confine wellbore fluids, provide a means to add fluids, and allow 
controlled volumes to be withdrawn from the wellbore. This recommended 
practice also addresses diverter systems.

Other Items for Consideration

    BOEMRE is also studying the following issues:
    1. Following the certification of the BOP to meet the one-time 
requirement of NTL No. 2010-N05, frequency and conditions for 
recertification requirements.
    2. Requirements for BOP equipment and other components of the BOP 
stack such as control panels, communication pods, accumulator systems, 
and choke and kill lines and the adequacy of API Spec 16A.
    3. Standardization of the BOP-ROV interface to improve intervention 
capabilities.
    4. Issues related to requiring a subsea isolation device that is 
independent of the BOP stack that is capable of operating critical 
functions that will shut in a well in emergency situations.

Procedural Matters

Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Order (E.O.) 12866)

    This interim final rule is a significant rule as determined by the 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and is subject to review under 
E.O. 12866.
    1. This rule will have an annual effect of $100 million or more on 
the economy. The following discussion summarizes a detailed cost-
benefit analysis that is available on http://www.Regulations.gov. Use 
the keyword/ID ``BOEM-2010-0034'' to locate the docket for this rule.
    Various events around the world as well as the US over the years 
demonstrate that catastrophic oil spills can and do occur. The costs 
associated with such spills can be tremendous. As a matter of policy, 
BOEMRE has decided that any reasonable measures to reduce the risks of 
another catastrophic spill occurring on the OCS should be put in place 
and enforced. The requirements included in this rulemaking are such 
measures. They were identified in the May 27, 2010 report, Increased 
Safety Measures for Energy Development on the Outer Continental Shelf, 
for which the draft recommendations were peer-reviewed by seven experts 
identified by the National Academy of Engineering., or identified by 
industry or academic experts in materials presented to BOEMRE. While 
the estimated costs of this rulemaking, as reflected in the compliance 
costs of the enumerated requirements of approximately $180 million per 
year, have a strong foundation and are based on surveys of public and 
industry sources, quantification of the benefits is uncertain. The 
benefits are represented by the avoided costs of a catastrophic spill, 
which are estimated under the stipulated scenario as being $16.3 
billion per spill avoided. These regulations will reduce the likelihood 
of another blowout and associated spill, but the risk reduction 
associated with the specific provisions of this rulemaking cannot be 
quantified because there are many complex factors that affect the risk 
of a blowout event. As noted by the Secretary of the Interior in his 
July 12 decision memo suspending certain drilling activities, drilling 
accidents can have a profound, devastating impact on the economic and 
environmental health of a region. The measures codified in this rule 
will reduce the likelihood of such an event in the future, at a cost 
that is not prohibitive, and therefore this rulemaking is justified.
    The purpose of a benefit-cost analysis is to provide policy makers 
and others with detailed information on the economic consequences of 
the regulatory requirements. The benefit-cost analysis for this rule 
was conducted using a scenario analysis. The benefit-cost analysis 
considers a regulation designed to reduce the likelihood of a 
catastrophic oil spill. The costs are the compliance costs of imposed 
regulation. If another catastrophic oil spill is prevented, the 
benefits are the avoided costs associated with a catastrophic oil spill 
(e.g., reduction in expected natural resource damages owing to the 
reduction in likelihood of failure).
    Avoided cost is an approximation of the ``true'' benefits of 
avoiding a catastrophic oil spill. A benefits transfer approach is used 
to estimate the avoided costs. The benefits transfer method estimates 
economic values by transferring existing benefit calculations from 
studies already completed for another location or issue to the case at 
hand. Accordingly, none of the avoided costs used for a hypothetical 
catastrophic spill rely upon, or should be taken to represent, our 
estimate for the BPDH event commencing on April 20, 2010.
    Three new requirements account for virtually all of the compliance 
costs imposed by this regulation (1) use of dual mechanical barriers in 
addition to cement barriers in the final casing string to prevent 
hydrocarbon flow in the event of cement failure, (2) application of 
negative pressure tests to all intermediate and the production casing 
strings to ensure their proper installation, and (3) maintenance of 
standby ROV capability to close BOP rams and testing that capability 
after the BOP has been installed on the sea floor. BOEMRE estimates 
that these three requirements will impose compliance costs of 
approximately $174 million per year, representing 95 percent of the 
total annual compliance costs of $183 million associated with this 
rulemaking. These cost estimates were developed by BOEMRE based on 
public data sources and confidential information provided by several 
offshore operators and drilling companies.
    On the benefit side, the avoided costs for a hypothetical deepwater 
blowout resulting in a catastrophic oil spill are estimated to be about 
$16.3 billion (in 2010 dollars). Most of this amount derives from 
detailed cleanup estimates developed using damage costs per barrel 
measures found in historical spill data (from all sources including 
pipeline, tanker, and shallow water as well as deepwater wells) and 
from aggregate damage measures contained in the legal settlement 
documents for past spills applied to a catastrophic deepwater spill of 
hypothetical size. The rest of the avoided cost amount represents the 
private costs for blowout containment operations. In sum, three 
components account for nearly the entire avoided spill cost total: (1) 
Natural resource damage to habitat and creatures, (2) infrastructure 
salvage and cleanup operations of areas soiled by oil, and (3) 
containment and well-plugging actions plus lost hydrocarbons.
    The estimate of compliance costs is somewhat uncertain. This is the 
case primarily because the $183 million annual estimate is perhaps 
higher than the actual costs that will be incurred by society from this 
rule because industry is voluntarily undertaking some steps following 
the BPDH event that overlap

[[Page 63365]]

those in this regulation. The Joint Industry Task Force draft 
recommendations include use of mechanical barriers and negative 
pressure tests. Voluntary action, perhaps spurred on as well by revised 
liability expectations and increased insurance prospects, means the 
incremental costs associated with these overlapping measures are not 
truly imposed solely by the new regulations. Less incremental required 
costs reduce the improvement in reliability necessary for expected 
benefits to cover the cost of complying with the new regulations. On 
the benefit side, the total avoided cost estimate of $16.3 billion 
(representing a measure of expected benefits for avoiding a future 
catastrophic oil spill) is highly uncertain because of the limited 
historical data upon which to judge the cost of failure, the disparity 
between the damages associated with spills of different sizes, 
locations, and season of occurrence, and owing to the fact that the 
measure employed reflects only those outlays that we have been able to 
calculate based primarily upon factors derived from past oil spills. 
Possible losses from human health effects or reduced property values 
have not been quantified in this analysis. Moreover, the likelihood of 
a future blow out leading to a catastrophic oil spill is difficult to 
quantify because of limited historical data on catastrophic offshore 
blowouts.
    Benefit-Cost Result: Based on the occurrence of only a single 
catastrophic blowout, the number of GOM deepwater wells drilled 
historically (4,123), and the forecasted future drilling activity in 
the GOM (160 deepwater wells per year), the baseline risk of a 
catastrophic blowout is estimated to be about once every 26 years. 
Combining the baseline likelihood of occurrence with the cost of a 
hypothetical spill implies that the expected annualized spill cost is 
about $631 million ($16.3 billion once in 26 years, equally likely in 
any 1 year). To balance the $183 million annual cost imposed by these 
regulations with the expected benefits, the reliability of the well 
control system needs to improve by about 29 percent ($183 million/$631 
million). We have found no studies that evaluate the degree of actual 
improvement that could be expected from dual mechanical barriers, 
negative pressure tests, and a seafloor ROV function test. We request 
comment with supporting evidence on the reliability improvement likely 
from these new provisions.
    2. This interim final rule will not adversely affect competition or 
State, local, or tribal governments or communities.
    3. This interim final rule will not create a serious inconsistency 
or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another 
agency.
    4. This interim final rule will not alter the budgetary effects of 
entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights or 
obligations of their recipients.
    5. This interim final rule will not raise novel legal or policy 
issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or 
the principles set forth in E.O. 12866.

Regulatory Flexibility Act: Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    Given the emergency nature of these rules, BOEMRE has not yet 
prepared a detailed Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis for this 
rule; however, BOEMRE intends to publish a supplemental Initial 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis in the near future which will examine 
the impact of this regulation on small entities in greater detail than 
provided below. BOEMRE continues to be interested in all potential 
impacts of the interim final rule on small entities and welcomes 
comments on issues related to such impacts. These comments will assist 
BOEMRE in conducting further analysis than provided below regarding the 
economic impact of these regulations on small entities, as well as an 
opportunity to examine regulatory alternatives that can accomplish 
BOEMRE's safety goals at a lower cost to small entities.
    This rulemaking affects lessees, operators of leases and drilling 
contractors on the OCS; thus this rule directly impacts small entities. 
This could include about 130 active Federal oil and gas lessees and 
more than a dozen drilling contractors and their suppliers. Small 
entities that operate under this rule are coded under the Small 
Business Administration's North American Industry Classification System 
(NAICS) codes 211111, Crude Petroleum and Natural Gas Extraction, and 
213111, Drilling Oil and Gas Wells. For these NAICS code 
classifications, a small company is one with fewer than 500 employees. 
Based on these criteria, approximately 70 percent of companies 
operating on the OCS (91) are considered small companies. Therefore, 
BOEMRE has determined that this proposed rule will have an impact on a 
substantial number of small entities.
    The ownership share of deepwater leases for small entities is 
estimated to only be 12 percent. While a larger percentage of the oil 
service industry supporting the deepwater operators are small 
businesses, the lessees that hire and direct these support businesses 
will bear the burden of this rule. Small companies hold 55 percent of 
shallow water leases but a smaller portion of the costs of these 
regulations will affect drilling operations in shallow water.
    This rule will affect every new well on the OCS. Tighter regulatory 
standards for drilling operations and the increased cost of meeting 
these requirements as a result of regulations for extra tests and well 
standards will now be required. We estimate that this rulemaking will 
impose a recurring cost of $183 million each year for drilling OCS 
wells. Every operator and drilling contractor both large and small must 
meet the same criteria for drilling operations regardless of company 
size. However, the overwhelming share of the cost imposed by these 
regulations will fall on companies drilling deepwater wells, which are 
predominately the larger companies. In fact, 90 percent of the total 
costs will be imposed on deepwater lessees and operators where small 
businesses only hold 12 percent of the leases. Less than 10 percent of 
the total costs will apply to shallow water leases where a 55 percent 
lease ownership share is held by small companies. Furthermore, these 
compliance costs only impact drilling operations. Drilling costs are 
only a share of the total costs incurred by a company operating on the 
OCS.
    Nonetheless, small companies as both lease-holders, and contractors 
serving lease-holders, will bear meaningful costs under these 
regulations. Of the annual $183 million in annual cost imposed by the 
rule, we estimate that the $20 million will apply to small businesses 
in deepwater and $9 million in shallow water. In total we estimate that 
$29 million or 15.8 percent of these regulations' cost will be borne by 
small businesses.
    Fiscal year 2009 aggregate annual Gulf of Mexico OCS oil and gas 
revenues were $31.3 billion. Using the same percentages of leases held 
as a proxy for production value in deep and shallow water, we estimate 
that 74 percent ($23.3 billion) of the OCS revenues are ultimately 
received by large companies and 26 percent ($8.1 billion) by small 
companies. As a share of fiscal year 2009 revenues this interim final 
rule would cost approximately 0.67 percent of OCS revenue for large 
companies and only 0.36 ($0.029/$8.1) percent for small companies.
    Even though this rule may not have a significant economic impact on 
small businesses, alternatives to ease impacts on small business were 
considered. One alternative is to exempt small businesses from the 
requirements of this interim final rule. A second alternative is to 
delay the implementation timelines

[[Page 63366]]

to comply with the regulation. Both of these alternatives are being 
rejected by BOEMRE for this interim final rule because of the 
overriding need to reduce the chance of a catastrophic blowout event. 
We do not believe it is responsible for a regulator to compromise the 
safety of offshore personnel and the environment for any entity 
including small businesses. Offshore drilling is highly technical and 
can be hazardous, any delay may increase the interim risk of OCS 
drilling operations.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    This interim final rule is a major rule under the Small Business 
Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.). This 
interim final rule:
    a. Will have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or 
more. This rule will affect every new well on the OCS, and every 
operator, both large and small must meet the same criteria for well 
construction regardless of company size. This rulemaking may have a 
significant economic effect on a substantial number of small entities 
and the impact on small businesses will be analyzed more thoroughly in 
an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis. While large companies will 
bear the majority of these costs, small companies as both leaseholders 
and contractors supporting OCS drilling operations will be affected.
    Considering the new requirements for redundant barriers and new 
tests, we estimate that this rulemaking will add an average of about 
$1.42 million to each new deepwater well drilled and completed with a 
MODU, $170 thousand for each new deepwater well drilled with a platform 
rig, and $90 thousand for each new shallow water well. While not an 
insignificant amount, we note this extra recurring cost is less than 2 
percent of the cost of drilling a well in deepwater and around 1 
percent for most shallow water wells.
    b. Will not cause a major increase in costs or prices for 
consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, or local government 
agencies, or geographic regions. The impact on domestic deepwater 
hydrocarbon production as a result of these regulations is expected to 
be negative, but the size of the impact is not expected to materially 
impact the world oil markets. The deepwater GOM is an oil province and 
the domestic crude oil prices are set by the world oil markets. 
Currently there is sufficient spare capacity in OPEC to offset a 
decrease in GOM deepwater production that could occur as a result of 
this rule. Therefore, the increase in the price of hydrocarbon products 
to consumers from the increased cost to drill and operate on the OCS is 
expected to be minimal. However, more of the oil for domestic 
consumption may be purchased from overseas markets because the cost of 
OCS oil and gas production will rise relative to other sources of 
supply. This shift would contribute negatively to our balance of trade.
    c. Will not have significant adverse effects on competition, 
innovation, or the ability of U.S.-based enterprises to compete with 
foreign-based enterprises.
    d. May have adverse effects on employment, investment, and 
productivity. A meaningful increase in costs as a result of more 
stringent regulations and increased drilling costs may result in a 
reduction in the pace of deepwater drilling activity on marginal 
offshore fields, and reduce investment in our domestic energy resources 
from what it otherwise would be, thereby reducing employment in OCS and 
related support industries. The additional regulatory requirements in 
this rulemaking will increase drilling costs and add to the time it 
takes to drill deepwater wells. The resulting reduction in 
profitability of drilling operations may cause some declines in related 
investment and employment. A typical deepwater well drilled by a MODU 
may cost $90-$100 million. The added cost of these regulations for a 
deepwater well is expected to be about $1.42 million; this is less than 
a 2 percent decrease in productivity for drilling a deepwater well as a 
result of these regulations.
    e. Accommodations for small business have not been made to avoid 
the risk of compromising the safety and environmental protections 
addressed in this rulemaking. Small businesses actively invest in 
offshore operations, owning a 12 percent interest in deepwater leases, 
most often as a minority partner. These regulations will make it more 
expensive for all interest holders in OCS leases, and we do not expect 
a disproportionate impact on small businesses. However, we anticipate 
that the costs in this rule may contribute to one or more of the 
following:
    1. Reduce the small business ownership share in individual 
deepwater leases.
    2. Cause small businesses to target their investments more in 
shallow water leases.
    3. Cause small businesses to target their investments more in 
onshore oil and gas operations or other natural resources.
    4. Small businesses may choose to invest or partner in overseas 
natural resource operations.
    f. There are many small businesses that support offshore oil and 
gas drilling operations including service, supply, and consulting 
companies. They will also be affected by this rule. Because we can 
reasonably anticipate an overall decrease in deepwater drilling 
activity due to the increased cost and regulatory burden, some 
businesses that support drilling operations may experience reduced 
business activity. Some small businesses may therefore decide to focus 
more on shallow water or other oil and gas offshore provinces overseas.
    g. There are some small businesses that may benefit from this 
rulemaking. Companies that are involved with inspecting and certifying 
this equipment, as well as consulting companies specializing in safety 
and offshore drilling, could see long-term growth.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    This rule will impose an unfunded mandate on State, local, or 
tribal governments or the private sector of more than $100 million per 
year. The rule will not have a significant or unique effect on State, 
local, or tribal governments or the private sector. A statement 
containing the information required by the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act 
(2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.) is not required.

Takings Implication Assessment (E.O. 12630)

    Under the criteria in E.O. 12630, this rule does not have 
significant takings implications. The rule is not a governmental action 
capable of interference with constitutionally protected property 
rights. A Takings Implication Assessment is not required.

Federalism (E.O. 13132)

    Under the criteria in E.O. 13132, this rule does not have 
federalism implications. This rule will not substantially and directly 
affect the relationship between the Federal and State governments. To 
the extent that State and local governments have a role in OCS 
activities, this rule will not affect that role. A Federalism 
Assessment is not required.

Civil Justice Reform (E.O. 12988)

    This rule complies with the requirements of E.O. 12988. 
Specifically, this rule:
    a. Meets the criteria of section 3(a) requiring that all 
regulations be reviewed to eliminate errors and

[[Page 63367]]

ambiguity and be written to minimize litigation; and
    b. Meets the criteria of section 3(b)(2) requiring that all 
regulations be written in clear language and contain clear legal 
standards.

Consultation With Indian Tribes (E.O. 13175)

    Under the criteria in E.O. 13175, we have evaluated this rule and 
determined that it has no substantial effects on federally recognized 
Indian tribes.

Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

    This rule contains a collection of information that was submitted 
to and approved by OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 
U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). The rule expands existing requirements, as well 
as adds new requirements in 30 CFR part 250, subparts D, E, and F. The 
OMB approved these requirements and their respective burden hours under 
an emergency request, OMB Control Number 1010-0185, 44,731 hours 
(expiration 04/30/2011). We will be accepting comments on the 
information collection (IC) aspects and burdens of this rulemaking 
until 60 days after October 14, 2010.
    The title of the collection of information for this rule is 30 CFR 
part 250, Increased Safety Measures for Oil and Gas Drilling, Well-
Completion, and Well-Workover Operations.
    Respondents primarily are the Federal OCS lessees and operators. 
The frequency of response varies depending upon the requirement. 
Responses to this collection of information are mandatory. BOEMRE will 
protect proprietary information according to the Freedom of Information 
Act (5 U.S.C. 552), its implementing regulations (43 CFR part 2), 30 
CFR 250.197, Data and information to be made available to the public or 
for limited inspection, and 30 CFR part 252, OCS Oil and Gas 
Information Program. Even though this rulemaking becomes effective 
immediately, BOEMRE will be accepting comments, see the DATES section, 
including the IC aspects of the rulemaking. See the ADDRESSES section 
for how to submit comments.
    As discussed earlier in the preamble, this interim final rulemaking 
is a revision to various sections of the 30 CFR part 250 regulations 
that will amend drilling regulations in subparts D, E, F, O, and Q. 
This includes requirements that will implement various safety measures 
that pertain to drilling operations. The information collected will 
ensure sufficient redundancy in the BOPs; promote the integrity of the 
well and enhance well control; and facilitate a culture of safety 
through operational and personnel management. This rule will promote 
human safety and environmental protection.
    Under Sec.  250.198, this section lists all of the documents 
incorporated by reference in the 30 CFR part 250 regulations. This 
rulemaking revises this section to include the new 30 CFR part 250 
document we are incorporating and the document already incorporated 
that we are updating. Under the PRA (5 CFR part 1320), information and 
recordkeeping produced during customary and usual business activities 
are excluded from agency IC burdens. Information submitted or reported 
to the Federal Government that goes beyond these practices does count 
as burdens and is required to have OMB approval under the PRA. We 
consider all of the activities and operations performed in accordance 
with the documents incorporated by reference involved in this 
rulemaking to be customary and usual business activities because they 
are consensus standards developed by working task force groups. These 
groups are comprised of subject matter experts from the industry and 
government in the following fields: Blowout preventer equipment, 
cementing, and well design. Any information and recordkeeping produced 
during the conduct of operations or activities performed under those 
standards, therefore, do not count as new or additional IC burdens.
    The rulemaking clarifies requirements, but does not change the hour 
burdens in 30 CFR part 250, subpart O (1010-0128, expiration 11/30/
2012). This rulemaking also references, but does not change, the 
requirements and burdens in 30 CFR part 250, subpart Q (1010-0142, 
expiration 11/30/2010). However, the rule does change and add new 
requirements to those already approved for 30 CFR part 250, subparts D, 
E, and F, as explained in the following paragraphs.
    The current regulations on Oil and Gas Drilling Operations and 
associated IC are located in 30 CFR part 250, subpart D. The OMB 
approved the IC burden of the current subpart D regulations under 
control number 1010-0141 (expiration 11/30/2011). This interim final 
rule expands the current regulatory requirements and adds new 
requirements that pertain to subsea and surface BOPs, well casing and 
cementing, secondary intervention, unplanned disconnects, 
recordkeeping, well completion, and well plugging (+24,144 burden 
hours).
    The current regulations on Oil and Gas Well-Completion Operations 
and associated IC are located in 30 CFR part 250, subpart E. The OMB 
approved the IC burden of the current subpart E regulations under 
control number 1010-0067 (expiration 12/31/2010). This interim final 
rule adds new regulatory requirements to this subpart that pertain to 
subsea and surface BOPs, secondary intervention, and well-completions 
(+4,669 burden hours).
    The current regulations on Oil and Gas Well-Workover Operations and 
associated IC are located in 30 CFR part 250, subpart F. The OMB 
approved the IC burden of the current subpart F regulations under 
control number 1010-0043 (expiration 12/31/2010). This interim final 
rule adds new regulatory requirements to this subpart that pertain to 
subsea and surface BOPs, secondary intervention, unplanned disconnects, 
and well-workers (+15,918 burden hours).
    When this rulemaking becomes effective, the additional 30 CFR part 
250, subparts D, E, and F paperwork burdens will be incorporated into 
their respective primary collections; 1010-0141, 1010-0067, and 1010-
0043, respectively.
    The following table provides a breakdown of the new burdens.

[[Page 63368]]



----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                        Reporting and                                                   Annual
       Citation 30 CFR 250              recordkeeping           Hour burden       Average number of     burden
                                         requirement                              annual  responses     hours
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                    Subpart D
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
408, 409; 410-418; 420(a)(6);     Apply for permit to       6..................  MMS-123...........        4,200
 423(b)(3), (c)(1); 449(j),        drill/revised APD that                        700...............
 (k)(1); plus various references   includes any/all
 in subparts A, B, D, E, H, P, Q.  supporting
                                   documentation/evidence
                                   [test results,
                                   calculations,
                                   verifications,
                                   procedures, criteria,
                                   qualifications, etc.]
                                   and requests for
                                   various approvals
                                   required in subpart D
                                   (including Sec.  Sec.
                                   250.423, 424, 427, 432,
                                   442(c), 447, 448(c),
                                   449(j), (k), 451(g),
                                   456(a)(3), (f), 460,
                                   490(c)(1), (2)) and
                                   submitted via Form MMS-
                                   123 (Application for
                                   Permit to Drill).
416(g)(2).......................  Provide 24 hour advance   10 mins............  6 notifications...            1
                                   notice of location of
                                   shearing ram tests or
                                   inspections; allow
                                   BOEMRE access to
                                   witness testing,
                                   inspections and
                                   information
                                   verification.
420(b)(3).......................  Submit dual mechanical    30 mins............  700 submissions...          350
                                   barrier documentation
                                   after installation.
                                                           -----------------------------------------
423(a)..........................  Request approval of           Burden covered under 1010-0141.                0
                                   other pressure casing
                                   test pressures per
                                   District Manager.
                                                           -----------------------------------------
423(b)(4), (c)(2)...............  Perform pressure casing   30 mins............  700 drilling ops x        1,750
                                   test; document results                         5 tests per ops =
                                   and make available to                          3,500 tests.
                                   BOEMRE upon request.
                                                           -----------------------------------------
442(c)..........................  Request alternative           Burden covered under 1010-0141.                0
                                   method for the
                                   accumulator system.
                                                           -----------------------------------------
442(h)..........................  Label all functions on    30 mins............  30 panels.........           15
                                   all panels.
442(i)..........................  Develop written           4..................  30 procedures.....          120
                                   procedures for
                                   management system for
                                   operating the BOP stack
                                   and LMRP.
                                                           -----------------------------------------
442(j)..........................  Establish minimum             Burden covered under 1010-0128.                0
                                   requirements for
                                   authorized personnel to
                                   operate BOP equipment;
                                   require training.
                                                           -----------------------------------------
446(a)..........................  Document BOP maintenance  1..................  105 rigs..........          105
                                   and inspection
                                   procedures used; record
                                   results of BOP
                                   inspections and
                                   maintenance actions;
                                   maintain records for 2
                                   years; make available
                                   to BOEMRE upon request.
                                                           -----------------------------------------
449; 450; 467...................  Function test annular         Burden covered under 1010-0141.                0
                                   and rams; document
                                   results every 7 days
                                   between BOP tests
                                   (biweekly). Note: part
                                   of BOP test.
                                                           -----------------------------------------
449(j)(2).......................  Test all ROV              10.................  110 wells.........        1,100
                                   intervention functions
                                   on your subsea BOP
                                   stack; document all
                                   test results; make
                                   available to BOEMRE
                                   upon request.
449(k)(2).......................  Function test autoshear   30 mins............  110 wells.........           55
                                   and deadman on your
                                   subsea BOP stack during
                                   stump test; document
                                   all test results; make
                                   available to BOEMRE
                                   upon request.
                                                           -----------------------------------------
456(i)..........................  Record results of             Burden covered under 1010-0141.                0
                                   drilling fluid tests in
                                   drilling report.
                                                           -----------------------------------------
456(j)..........................  Submit detailed step by   2..................  110 wells.........          220
                                   step procedures
                                   describing displacement
                                   of fluids with your APD/
                                   APM [this submission
                                   obtains District
                                   Manager approval].
460; 465; 449(j), (k)(1);         Submit revised plans,     4..................  MMS-124...........       16,228
 516(d)(8), (d)(9); 616(h)(1),     changes, well/drilling                        4,057.............
 (2); plus various references in   records, procedures,
 subparts A, D, E, F, H, P, and    certifications that
 Q.                                include any/all
                                   supporting
                                   documentation etc.,
                                   submitted on Form MMS-
                                   124 (Application for
                                   Permit to Modify).
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Subtotal....................  ........................  ...................  9,458 responses...       24,144
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                    Subpart E
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
516(d)(8).......................  Submit test procedures        Burden covered under 1010-0141.                0
                                   with your APM for
                                   approval.
                                                           -----------------------------------------
516(d)(8).......................  Function test ROV         10.................  110 wells.........        1,100
                                   interventions on your
                                   subsea BOP stack;
                                   document all test
                                   results; make available
                                   to BOEMRE upon request.

[[Page 63369]]

 
516(d)(9).......................  Function test autoshear   30 mins............  1,048 completions.          524
                                   and deadman on your
                                   subsea BOP stack during
                                   stump test; document
                                   all test results; make
                                   available to BOEMRE
                                   upon request.
516(g)(l).......................  Document the procedures   7 days x 12 hrs/day  105 rigs/once             2,940
                                   used for BOP              = 84.                every 3 years =
                                   inspections; record                            35 per year.
                                   results; maintain
                                   records for 2 years;
                                   make available to
                                   BOEMRE upon request.
                                                           -----------------------------------------
516(g)(2).......................  Request alternative           Burden covered under 1010-0067.                0
                                   method to inspect a
                                   marine riser.
                                                           -----------------------------------------
516(h)..........................  Document the procedures   1..................  105 rigs..........          105
                                   used for BOP
                                   maintenance; record
                                   results; maintain
                                   records for 2 years;
                                   make available to
                                   BOEMRE upon request.
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Subtotal....................  ........................  ...................  1,298 responses...        4,669
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                    Subpart F
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
616(h)(l).......................  Test all ROV              10 hours...........  1,226 workovers...       12,260
                                   intervention functions
                                   on your subsea BOP
                                   stack; document all
                                   test results; make
                                   available to BOEMRE
                                   upon request.
616(h)(2).......................  Function test autoshear   30 mins............  1,226 workovers...          613
                                   and deadman on your
                                   subsea BOP stack during
                                   stump test; document
                                   all test results; make
                                   available to BOEMRE
                                   upon request.
617(a)(l).......................  Document the procedures   7 days x 12 hrs/day  105 rigs/once             2,940
                                   used for BOP              = 84.                every 3 years =
                                   inspections; record                            35 per year.
                                   results; maintain
                                   records for 2 years;
                                   make available to
                                   BOEMRE upon request.
                                                           -----------------------------------------
617(a)(2).......................  Request approval to use       Burden covered under 1010-0067.                0
                                   alternative method to
                                   inspect a marine riser.
                                                           -----------------------------------------
617(b)..........................  Document the procedures   1..................  105 rigs..........          105
                                   used for BOP
                                   maintenance; record
                                   results; maintain
                                   records for 2 years;
                                   make available to
                                   BOEMRE upon request.
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Subtotal....................  ........................  ...................  2,592 responses...       15,918
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                    Subpart Q
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1712(f), (g); 1721(h)...........  Submit with your APM,         Burden covered under 1010-0141.                0
                                   archaeological and
                                   sensitive biological
                                   features; Registered
                                   Professional Engineer
                                   certification.
1721(e).........................  Identify and report                  USCG requirements.                      0
                                   subsea wellheads,
                                   casing stubs, or other
                                   obstructions.
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total.......................  ........................  ...................  13,348 responses..       44,731
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    BOEMRE plans to follow this interim final rule with a request for a 
standard, 3-year approval by OMB. The request will be processed under 
OMB's normal clearance procedures in accordance with the provisions of 
OMB regulation 5 CFR 1320.10. To facilitate processing of the normal 
clearance submission to OMB, BOEMRE invites the general public to 
comment on: (1) Whether this collection of information is necessary for 
the proper performance of BOEMRE's functions, including whether the 
information has practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the estimates of 
the burden of the information collection, including the validity of the 
methodologies and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, 
utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (4) ways to 
minimize the burden of the information collection on respondents, 
including through the use of automated collection techniques or other 
forms of information technology; and (5) estimates of capital or start 
up costs, and costs of operation, maintenance and purchase of services 
to provide the information.
    An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and you are not required to 
respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently 
valid OMB control number. The public may comment, at any time, on the 
accuracy of the IC burden in this rule and may submit any comments to 
the Department of the Interior; Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, 
Regulation and Enforcement; Attention: Regulations and Standards 
Branch; Mail Stop 4024; 381 Elden Street; Herndon, Virginia 20170-4817.

National Environmental Policy Act of 1969

    We have prepared an environmental assessment to determine whether 
this rule will have a significant impact on the quality of the human 
environment under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. This 
rule does not constitute a major Federal action significantly affecting 
the quality of the human environment. A detailed statement under the 
National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 is not required because we 
reached a Finding of No Significant Impact. A copy of the Environmental 
Assessment can be viewed at http://www.Regulations.gov (type in 
``environmental assessment'' for

[[Page 63370]]

the document type and use the keyword/ID ``BOEM-2010-0034'').

Data Quality Act

    In developing this rule, we did not conduct or use a study, 
experiment, or survey requiring peer review under the Data Quality Act 
(Pub. L. 106-554, app. C Sec.  515, 114 Stat. 2763, 2763A-153-154).

Effects on the Energy Supply (E.O. 13211)

    This rule is a significant rule and is subject to review by the 
Office of Management and Budget under E.O. 12866. The rule does have an 
effect on energy supply, distribution, or use because its provisions 
may delay development of some OCS oil and gas resources. The delay 
stems from the extra drill time and cost imposed on new wells which 
will somewhat slow exploration and development operations. We estimate 
an average delay of 2 days and cost of $1.42 million for most deepwater 
wells in the GOM.
    Increased imports or inventory drawdowns should compensate for most 
of the delay or reduction in domestic production. The recurring costs 
imposed on new drilling by this rule are very small (2 percent) 
relative to the cost of drilling a well in deepwater. In view of the 
high risk-reward associated with deepwater exploration in general, we 
do not expect this small regulatory surcharge from this rule to result 
in meaningful reduction in discoveries. Thus, we expect the net change 
in supply associated with this rule will cause only a slight increase 
in oil and gas prices relative to what they otherwise would have been. 
Normal volatility in both oil and gas market prices overshadow these 
rule related price effects, so we consider this an insignificant effect 
on energy supply and price.

Clarity of This Regulation

    We are required by E.O. 12866, E.O. 12988, and by the Presidential 
Memorandum of June 1, 1998, to write all rules in plain language. This 
means that each rule we publish must:
    a. Be logically organized;
    b. Use the active voice to address readers directly;
    c. Use clear language rather than jargon;
    d. Be divided into short sections and sentences; and
    e. Use lists and tables wherever possible.
    If you feel that we have not met these requirements, send us 
comments by one of the methods listed in the ADDRESSES section. To 
better help us revise the rule, your comments should be as specific as 
possible. For example, you should tell us the numbers of the sections 
or paragraphs that you find unclear, which sections or sentences are 
too long, the sections where you feel lists or tables would be useful, 
etc.

Public Availability of Comments

    Before including your address, phone number, email address, or 
other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be 
aware that your entire comment--including your personal identifying 
information--may be made publicly available at any time. While you can 
ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying 
information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be 
able to do so.

Appendix A

BOEMRE Response to the Deepwater Horizon Event and Resulting Oil Spill

I. Description

    On April 20, 2010, the crew of the Transocean drilling rig 
Deepwater Horizon was preparing to temporarily abandon BP's 
discovery well at the Macondo prospect, 52 miles from shore in 4,992 
feet of water in the GOM. An explosion and subsequent fire on the 
rig caused 11 fatalities and several injuries. The rig sank 2 days 
later, resulting in an uncontrolled release of oil that was declared 
a spill of national significance.

II. Status of BOEMRE/USCG Joint Investigation

    The DOI and USCG are undertaking a joint investigation into the 
causes of the explosions and fire on the Deepwater Horizon. This 
joint investigation includes members of BOEMRE and the USCG and 
involves issuing subpoenas for documents and testimony, obtaining 
expert analyses of data and reports, holding public hearings, 
calling witnesses, and taking any other steps necessary to determine 
the cause of the spill. The purpose of this joint investigation is 
to develop conclusions about the cause and recommendations for 
preventing a similar event. The facts collected at the public 
hearings, along with the lead investigators' conclusions and 
recommendations, will be forwarded to USCG Headquarters and BOEMRE 
for approval. Once approved, the final investigative report will be 
made available to the public and the media. The team has been given 
9 months, from the date of the convening order (April 27, 2010), to 
submit the final report.

III. DOI and BOEMRE actions

    In response to the Deepwater Horizon event, DOI and BOEMRE have 
taken several actions, as outlined below. Numerous other 
investigations and reviews have been commenced, including an 
investigation by the DOI Safety Oversight Board; an investigation by 
the President's National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil 
Spill and Offshore Drilling; the USCG incident Specific Preparedness 
Review; a review by the National Academy of Engineering; a review by 
the U.S. Chemical Safety Board; and others. This Appendix addresses 
only BOEMRE actions. These are as follows:
    1. Issued a Joint Safety Alert with USCG on April 30, 2010.
    2. Published the Safety Measures Report on May 27, 2010, at the 
request of the President.
    3. Issued National NTL No. 2010-N05, ``Increased Safety Measures 
for Energy Development on the OCS,'' to implement the immediate 
recommendations from the Safety Measures Report.
    4. Issued National NTL No. 2010-N06, ``Information Requirements 
for Exploration Plans, Development and Production Plans, and 
Development Operations Coordination Documents on the OCS.''
    5. Implemented Secretarial Decision dated July 12, 2010, 
ordering the suspensions of drilling activities that use a subsea 
BOP stack and drilling from floating facilities with a surface BOP 
stack.
    6. Held public meetings to collect information and views about 
deepwater drilling safety reforms, blowout containment, and oil 
spill response.

1. Joint USCG-BOEMRE Safety Alert

    On April 30, 2010, USCG and BOEMRE issued a National Safety 
Alert No. 2 concerning the Deepwater Horizon event and resulting oil 
spill. BOEMRE and the USCG included the following safety 
recommendations to operators and drilling contractors:
    (1) Examine all well control equipment (both surface and subsea) 
currently being used to ensure that it has been properly maintained 
and is capable of shutting in the well during emergency operations. 
Ensure that the ROV hot-stabs are function-tested and are capable of 
actuating the BOP.
    (2) Review all rig drilling/casing/completion practices to 
ensure that well control contingencies are not compromised at any 
point while the BOP is installed on the wellhead.
    (3) Review all emergency shutdown and dynamic positioning 
procedures that interface with emergency well control operations.
    (4) Inspect lifesaving and firefighting equipment for compliance 
with Federal requirements.
    (5) Ensure that all crew members are familiar with emergency/
firefighting equipment, as well as participate in an abandon ship 
drill. Operators are reminded that the review of emergency equipment 
and drills should be conducted after each crew change out.
    (6) Exercise emergency power equipment to ensure proper 
operation.
    (7) Ensure that all personnel involved in well operations are 
properly trained and capable of performing their tasks under both 
normal drilling and emergency well control operations.

2. Safety Measures Report

a. Summary

    On April 30, 2010, the President ordered the Secretary of the 
Interior to conduct a

[[Page 63371]]

thorough review of this event and to report, within 30 days, on 
what, if any, additional precautions and technologies should be 
required to improve the safety of oil and gas exploration and 
production operations on the OCS. The Safety Measures Report was 
presented to the President on May 27, 2010. A copy of the report is 
available at: http://www.doi.gov/news/pressreleases/loader.cfm?csModule=security/getfile&PageID=33646.
    The Safety Measures Report was developed without the benefit of 
the findings from the ongoing investigations into the root causes of 
the explosions and fire on the Deepwater Horizon and the resulting 
oil spill. In the coming months, those investigations will likely 
suggest refinements to some of this report's recommendations, as 
well as additional safety measures.
    The Safety Measures Report includes a history of OCS production, 
spills, and blowouts; a review of the existing U.S. regulatory and 
enforcement structure; a survey of other countries' regulatory 
approaches; and a summary of existing BOEMRE-sponsored studies on 
technologies that could reduce the risk of blowouts. The report 
examines all aspects of drilling operations, including equipment, 
procedures, personnel management, and inspections and verification 
in an effort to identify safety and environmental protection 
measures that would reduce the risk of a catastrophic event. In 
particular, this report examines several issues highlighted by the 
Deepwater Horizon event regarding operational and personnel safety 
while conducting drilling operations in deepwater environments.
    The Safety Measures Report includes a number of recommendations 
to improve the safety of oil and gas drilling operations on the OCS. 
These recommendations address:
     Well-control and well abandonment operations;
     Specific requirements for devices, such as BOPs and 
their testing;
     Industry practices;
     Worker training;
     Inspection protocol and operator oversight; and
     The responsibility of the Department for safety and 
enforcement.
    The draft recommendations were peer reviewed by seven experts 
identified by the National Academy of Engineering.
    b. Implementation teams. To inform the efforts related to 
implementation of some of the recommendations from the Safety 
Measures Report, the DOI Safety Oversight Board Report, the 
recommendations to be developed by the President's bipartisan 
National Commission and other investigative and reviewing bodies, 
DOI is establishing Department-led implementation teams. These 
teams, initially described as ``strike teams'' in the Safety 
Measures Report, will evaluate various issues, both highly technical 
and non-technical.
    The implementation teams will seek input as appropriate from 
academia, industry, and other technical experts and stakeholders. 
They will develop and present their recommendations for further 
actions to address additional environmental protection and safety 
measures. The Department may use the recommendations from these 
implementation teams to:
    (1) Inform future rulemaking,
    (2) Develop internal policy for inspections and enforcement of 
regulations,
    (3) Identify future research needs.

3. NTL No. 2010-N05--Increased Safety Measures for Energy Development 
on the OCS

    The NTL No. 2010-N05, ``Increased Safety Measures for Energy 
Development on the OCS,'' addressed the recommendations from the 
Safety Measures Report that warranted immediate implementation. The 
link to this NTL is: http://www.gomr.boemre.gov/homepg/regulate/regs/ntls/2010NTLs/10-n05.pdf.
    BOEMRE issued this NTL on June 8, 2010, as a result of the 
Deepwater Horizon event. The NTL addresses the recommendations in 
the report to the President entitled, ``Increased Safety Measures 
for Energy Development on the Outer Continental Shelf'' dated May 
27, 2010, and details under then-existing regulations the 
requirements lessees and operators must meet to operate on the OCS. 
Following are the specific items included in the NTL:
    Operators are required to:
     Verify compliance with existing regulations and Safety 
Alert issued on April 30, 2010.
     Submit BOP and well control system configuration 
information for the drilling rig that was being used.
     Recertify all BOP equipment before resuming drilling.
     Have documentation showing that the BOP has been 
maintained according to the regulations at 30 CFR 250.446(a). The 
operators are required to maintain records and make them available 
upon request.
     Obtain independent third party verification that the 
BOP stack is designed for the specific equipment on the rig and 
compatible with the specific well location, well design, and well 
execution plan; the BOP stack has not been compromised or damaged 
from previous service; and the BOP stack will operate in the 
conditions in which it will be used.
     Have a secondary control system with ROV intervention 
capabilities, including the ability to close one set of blind-shear 
rams and one set of pipe rams and unlatch the LMRP.
     Have an emergency shut-in system in the event that you 
lose power to the BOP stack, have an unplanned disconnection of the 
riser from the BOP stack, or experience another emergency situation.
     Function test the hot stabs that would be used to 
interface with the ROV intervention panel during the stump test.
     Obtain an independent third party verification that 
provides sufficient information showing that the blind-shear rams 
installed in the BOP stack are capable of shearing the drill pipe in 
the hole under maximum anticipated surface pressures.
     If the blind-shear rams or casing shear rams are 
activated in a well control situation in which pipe or casing was 
sheared, operators must inspect and test the BOP stack and its 
components, after the situation is fully controlled.
     Have all well casing designs and cementing program/
procedures certified by a Professional Engineer, verifying the 
casing design is appropriate for the purpose for which it is 
intended under expected wellbore conditions.
     Submit the relevant information discussed in the NTL 
prior to commencing those operations, and drilling may not commence 
without BOEMRE approval.

4. NTL No. 2010-N06--Information Requirements for Exploration Plans, 
Development and Production Plans, and Development Operations 
Coordination Documents on the OCS

    The link to this NTL is: http://www.gomr.boemre.gov/homepg/regulate/regs/ntls/2010NTLs/10-n06.pdf.
    BOEMRE issued this NTL on June 18, 2010. This NTL provides 
guidance to lessees and operators regarding the blowout and oil 
spill information required in the exploration and development plan 
documents submitted to BOEMRE, including:
    A blowout scenario as required by 30 CFR 250.213(g) and 
250.243(h), including:
    Highest volume of liquid hydrocarbons;
    Estimated flow rate, total volume, and maximum duration;
    Potential for the well to bridge over;
    Likelihood for surface intervention to stop the blowout;
    Availability of a rig to drill a relief well;
    Time frame to drill a relief well.
    A description of the assumptions and calculations used to 
determine the volume of the worst case discharge scenario, 
including:
    Well design;
    Reservoir characteristics;
    Fluid characteristics;
    Pressure, volume, and temperature characteristics;
    Analog reservoir assumptions;
    Supporting calculations and models used in determining worst 
case scenario.

5. Secretarial Decision Suspending Drilling Activities That Use Subsea 
BOP Stacks and Drilling From Floating Facilities With a Surface BOP 
Stack

    On July 12, 2010, the Secretary issued a decision directing 
BOEMRE to suspend the drilling of wells using subsea BOPs or surface 
BOPs on floating facilities, and to cease approval of pending and 
future applications for permits to drill using subsea BOPs or 
surface BOPs on floating facilities. These directives apply in the 
GOM and Pacific regions through November 30, 2010, subject to 
modification if the Secretary determines that the significant 
threats to life, property, and the environment set forth in his 
decision have been sufficiently addressed. This includes additional 
information about the causes of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. 
Several investigations and reviews are being undertaken to identify 
the root causes of the disaster, including a joint BOEMRE-USCG 
investigation, a review by the NAE, on-going Congressional 
inquiries, and the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon 
Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling (Presidential Commission). The 
results of these will better inform DOI decision-making and longer-
term rulemaking.
    Following this decision, on July 12, 2010, BOEMRE issued 
suspension orders of most

[[Page 63372]]

deepwater drilling operations on the OCS through November 30, 2010. 
BOEMRE stopped approval of pending and future deepwater drilling 
applications in the GOM and Pacific regions.

6. Held Public Meetings to Collect Information and Views About 
Deepwater Drilling Safety Reforms, Blowout Containment, and Oil Spill 
Response

    As directed by the Secretary in the Decision of July 12, 2010, 
the BOEMRE Director led a series of public meetings to collect 
information and views about deepwater drilling safety reforms, 
blowout containment, and oil spill response. The Director solicited 
input from the general public, state, and local leaders, experts 
from academia, the environmental community, and the oil and gas 
industry. The link to the Public Forums on Offshore Drilling is: 
http://www.boemre.gov/forums/. The webpage provides information and 
presentations from each meeting. The meetings were held in August 
and September in the following cities: New Orleans, Louisiana; 
Mobile, Alabama; Pensacola, Florida; Santa Barbara, California; 
Anchorage, Alaska; Houston, Texas; Biloxi, Mississippi; Lafayette, 
Louisiana.

List of Subjects in 30 CFR Part 250

    Administrative practice and procedure, Continental shelf, 
Incorporation by reference, Oil and gas exploration, Public lands--
mineral resources, Public lands--rights-of-way, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: October 1, 2010.
Wilma A. Lewis,
Assistant Secretary--Land and Minerals Management.

0
For the reasons stated in the preamble, under the authority of 43 
U.S.C. 1334 and Section 2 or Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1950, 64 
Stat. 1262, as amended, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, 
Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) is amending 30 CFR chapter II as 
follows:

Title 30--Mineral Resources

CHAPTER II--BUREAU OF OCEAN ENERGY MANAGEMENT, REGULATION AND 
ENFORCEMENT, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

PART 250--OIL AND GAS AND SULPHUR OPERATIONS IN THE OUTER 
CONTINENTAL SHELF

0
1. The authority citation for part 250 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 31 U.S.C. 9701, 43 U.S.C. 1334.


0
2. Amend Sec.  250.198 by:
0
a. Adding a new paragraph (a)(3),
0
b. Revising paragraph (h)(63), and
0
c. Adding new paragraph (h)(79) to read as follows:


Sec.  250.198  Documents incorporated by reference.

    (a) * * *
    (3) The effect of incorporation by reference of a document into the 
regulations in this part is that the incorporated document is a 
requirement. When a section in this part incorporates all of a 
document, you are responsible for complying with the provisions of that 
entire document, except to the extent that section provides otherwise. 
When a section in this part incorporates part of a document, you are 
responsible for complying with that part of the document as provided in 
that section. If any incorporated document uses the word should, it 
means must for purposes of these regulations.
* * * * *
    (h) * * *
    (63) API RP 53, Recommended Practices for Blowout Prevention 
Equipment Systems for Drilling Wells, Third Edition, March 1997; 
reaffirmed September 2004, Order No. G53003; incorporated by reference 
at Sec.  250.442(c); Sec.  250.446(a); Sec.  250.516(g)(1); Sec.  
250.516(h); and Sec.  250.617(a)(1), and (b);
* * * * *
    (79) API RP 65-Part 2, Isolating Potential Flow Zones During Well 
Construction; First Edition, May 2010; Product No. G65201; incorporated 
by reference at Sec.  250.415(f).
* * * * *

0
3. Amend Sec.  250.415 as follows:
0
a. Revise paragraphs (c), (d), and (e)(2), and
0
b. Add new paragraph (f) to read as follows:


Sec.  250.415  What must my casing and cementing programs include?

* * * * *
    (c) Type and amount of cement (in cubic feet) planned for each 
casing string;
    (d) * * * Your program must provide protection from thaw subsidence 
and freezeback effect, proper anchorage, and well control;
    (e) * * *
    (2) An ``area known to contain a shallow water flow hazard'' is a 
zone or geologic formation for which drilling has confirmed the 
presence of shallow water flow; and
    (f) A written description of how you evaluated the best practices 
included in API RP 65-Part 2, Isolating Potential Flow Zones During 
Well Construction (incorporated by reference as specified in Sec.  
250.198). Your written description must identify the mechanical 
barriers and cementing practices you will use for each casing string 
(reference API RP 65-Part 2, Sections 3 and 4).

0
4. Amend Sec.  250.416 by revising paragraphs (d) and (e) and adding 
new paragraphs (f) and (g) to read as follows:


Sec.  250.416  What must I include in the diverter and BOP 
descriptions?

* * * * *
    (d) A schematic drawing of the BOP system that shows the inside 
diameter of the BOP stack, number and type of preventers, all control 
systems and pods, location of choke and kill lines, and associated 
valves;
    (e) Independent third party verification and supporting 
documentation that show the blind-shear rams installed in the BOP stack 
are capable of shearing any drill pipe in the hole under maximum 
anticipated surface pressure. The documentation must include test 
results and calculations of shearing capacity of all pipe to be used in 
the well including correction for MASP;
    (f) When you use a subsea BOP stack, independent third party 
verification that shows:
    (1) the BOP stack is designed for the specific equipment on the rig 
and for the specific well design;
    (2) The BOP stack has not been compromised or damaged from previous 
service;
    (3) The BOP stack will operate in the conditions in which it will 
be used; and
    (g) The qualifications of the independent third party referenced in 
paragraphs (e) and (f) of this section:
    (1) The independent third party in paragraph (e) in this section 
must be a technical classification society; an API-licensed 
manufacturing, inspection, or certification firm; or a licensed 
professional engineering firm capable of providing the verifications 
required under this part. The independent third party must not be the 
original equipment manufacturer (OEM).
    (2) You must:
    (i) Include evidence that the firm you are using is reputable, the 
firm or its employees hold appropriate licenses to perform the 
verification in the appropriate jurisdiction, the firm carries 
industry-standard levels of professional liability insurance, and the 
firm has no record of violations of applicable law.
    (ii) Ensure that an official representative of BOEMRE will have 
access to the location to witness any testing or inspections, and 
verify information submitted to BOEMRE. Prior to any shearing ram tests 
or inspections, you must notify the District Manager at least 24 hours 
in advance.

0
5. Amend Sec.  250.418 as follows:
0
a. Revise paragraph (g),

[[Page 63373]]

0
b. Redesignate paragraph (h) as paragraph (j), and
0
c. Add new paragraphs (h) and (i) to read as follows:


Sec.  250.418  What additional information must I submit with my APD?

* * * * *
    (g) A request for approval if you plan to wash out or displace some 
cement to facilitate casing removal upon well abandonment;
    (h) Certification of your casing and cementing program as required 
in Sec.  250.420(a)(6);
    (i) Description of qualifications required by Sec.  250.416(f) of 
any independent third party; and
* * * * *

0
6. Amend Sec.  250.420 as follows:
0
a. Revise paragraphs (a)(4) and (a)(5),
0
b. Add new paragraph (a)(6),
0
c. Add new paragraph (b)(3) to read as follows:


Sec.  250.420  What well casing and cementing requirements must I meet?

* * * * *
    (a) * * *
    (4) Protect freshwater aquifers from contamination;
    (5) Support unconsolidated sediments; and
    (6) Include certification signed by a Registered Professional 
Engineer that there will be at least two independent tested barriers, 
including one mechanical barrier, across each flow path during well 
completion activities and that the casing and cementing design is 
appropriate for the purpose for which it is intended under expected 
wellbore conditions. The Registered Professional Engineer must be 
registered in a State in the United States. Submit this certification 
with your APD (Form MMS-123).
    (b) * * *
    (3) For the final casing string (or liner if it is your final 
string), you must install dual mechanical barriers in addition to 
cement, to prevent flow in the event of a failure in the cement. These 
may include dual float valves, or one float valve and a mechanical 
barrier. You must submit documentation to BOEMRE 30 days after 
installation of the dual mechanical barriers.
* * * * *

0
7. Revise Sec.  250.423 to read as follows:


Sec.  250.423  What are the requirements for pressure testing casing?

    (a) The table in this section describes the minimum test pressures 
for each string of casing. You may not resume drilling or other down-
hole operations until you obtain a satisfactory pressure test. If the 
pressure declines more than 10 percent in a 30-minute test, or if there 
is another indication of a leak, you must re-cement, repair the casing, 
or run additional casing to provide a proper seal. The District Manager 
may approve or require other casing test pressures.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Casing type                                         Minimum test pressure
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 (1) Drive or Structural...............  Not required.
 (2) Conductor.........................  200 psi.
 (3) Surface, Intermediate, and          70 percent of its minimum internal yield.
 Production.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     (b) You must ensure proper installation of casing or liner in the 
subsea wellhead or liner hanger.
    (1) You must ensure that the latching mechanisms or lock down 
mechanisms are engaged upon installation of each casing string or 
liner.
    (2) You must perform a pressure test on the casing seal assembly to 
ensure proper installation of casing or liner. You must perform this 
test for the intermediate and production casing strings or liner.
    (3) You must submit for approval with your APD, test procedures and 
criteria for a successful test.
    (4) You must document all your test results and make them available 
to BOEMRE upon request.
    (c) You must perform a negative pressure test on all wells to 
ensure proper casing installation. You must perform this test for the 
intermediate and production casing strings.
    (1) You must submit for approval with your APD, test procedures and 
criteria for a successful test.
    (2) You must document all your test results and make them available 
to BOEMRE upon request.

0
8. Amend Sec.  250.442 by revising the section heading and the section 
to read as follows:


Sec.  250.442  What are the requirements for a subsea BOP system?

    When you drill with a subsea BOP system, you must install the BOP 
system before drilling below the surface casing. The District Manager 
may require you to install a subsea BOP system before drilling below 
the conductor casing if proposed casing setting depths or local geology 
indicate the need. The table in this paragraph outlines your 
requirements.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
  When drilling with a subsea BOP
         system, you must:                 Additional requirements
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(a) Have at least four remote-       You must have at least one annular
 controlled, hydraulically operated   BOP, two BOPs equipped with pipe
 BOPs.                                rams, and one BOP equipped with
                                      blind-shear rams. The blind-shear
                                      rams must be capable of shearing
                                      any drill pipe in the hole under
                                      maximum anticipated surface
                                      pressures.
(b) Have an operable dual-pod        ...................................
 control system to ensure proper
 and independent operation of the
 BOP system.
(c) Have an accumulator system to    The accumulator system must meet or
 provide fast closure of the BOP      exceed the provisions of Section
 components and to operate all        13.3, Accumulator Volumetric
 critical functions in case of a      Capacity, in API RP 53,
 loss of the power fluid connection   Recommended Practices for Blowout
 to the surface.                      Prevention Equipment Systems for
                                      Drilling Wells (incorporated by
                                      reference as specified in Sec.
                                      250.198). The District Manager may
                                      approve a suitable alternate
                                      method.
(d) Have a subsea BOP stack          At a minimum, the ROV must be
 equipped with remotely operated      capable of closing one set of pipe
 vehicle (ROV) intervention           rams, closing one set of blind-
 capability.                          shear rams and unlatching the
                                      LMRP.
(e) Maintain an ROV and have a       The crew must be trained in the
 trained ROV crew on each floating    operation of the ROV. The training
 drilling rig on a continuous         must include simulator training on
 basis. The crew must examine all     stabbing into an ROV intervention
 ROV related well control equipment   panel on a subsea BOP stack.
 (both surface and subsea) to
 ensure that it is properly
 maintained and capable of shutting
 in the well during emergency
 operations.

[[Page 63374]]

 
(f) Provide autoshear and deadman    (1) Autoshear system means a safety
 systems for dynamically positioned   system that is designed to
 rigs.                                automatically shut in the wellbore
                                      in the event of a disconnect of
                                      the LMRP. When the autoshear is
                                      armed, a disconnect of the LMRP
                                      closes the shear rams. This is
                                      considered a ``rapid discharge''
                                      system.
                                     (2) Deadman System means a safety
                                      system that is designed to
                                      automatically close the wellbore
                                      in the event of a simultaneous
                                      absence of hydraulic supply and
                                      signal transmission capacity in
                                      both subsea control pods. This is
                                      considered a ``rapid discharge''
                                      system.
                                     (3) You may also have an acoustic
                                      system.
(g) Have operational or physical     Incorporate enable buttons on
 barrier(s) on BOP control panels     control panels to ensure two-
 to prevent accidental disconnect     handed operation for all critical
 functions.                           functions.
(h) Clearly label all control        Label other BOP control panels such
 panels for the subsea BOP system.    as hydraulic control panel.
(i) Develop and use a management     The management system must include
 system for operating the BOP         written procedures for operating
 system, including the prevention     the BOP stack and LMRP (including
 of accidental or unplanned           proper techniques to prevent
 disconnects of the system.           accidental disconnection of these
                                      components) and minimum knowledge
                                      requirements for personnel
                                      authorized to operate and maintain
                                      BOP components.
(j) Establish minimum requirements   Personnel must have:
 for personnel authorized to
 operate critical BOP equipment.
                                        (1) Training in deepwater well
                                         control theory and practice
                                         according to the requirements
                                         of 30 CFR 250, subpart O; and
                                        (2) A comprehensive knowledge of
                                         BOP hardware and control
                                         systems.
(k) Before removing the marine       You must maintain sufficient
 riser, displace the fluid in the     hydrostatic pressure or take other
 riser with seawater.                 suitable precautions to compensate
                                      for the reduction in pressure and
                                      to maintain a safe and controlled
                                      well condition.
(l) Install the BOP stack in a       Your glory hole must be deep enough
 glory hole when in ice-scour area.   to ensure that the top of the
                                      stack is below the deepest
                                      probable ice-scour depth.
------------------------------------------------------------------------


0
9. Amend Sec.  250.446 by revising paragraph (a) to read as follows:


Sec.  250.446  What are the BOP maintenance and inspection 
requirements?

    (a) You must maintain and inspect your BOP system to ensure that 
the equipment functions properly. The BOP maintenance and inspections 
must meet or exceed the provisions of Sections 17.10 and 18.10, 
Inspections; Sections 17.11 and 18.11, Maintenance; and Sections 17.12 
and 18.12, Quality Management, described in API RP 53, Recommended 
Practices for Blowout Prevention Equipment Systems for Drilling Wells 
(incorporated by reference as specified in Sec.  250.198). You must 
document the procedures used, record the results of your BOP 
inspections and maintenance actions, and make available to BOEMRE upon 
request. You must maintain your records on the rig for 2 years or from 
the date of your last major inspection, whichever is longer;
* * * * *

0
10. Amend Sec.  250.449, by revising paragraphs (h) and (i) and adding 
new paragraphs (j) and (k) to read as follows:


Sec.  250.449  What additional BOP testing requirements must I meet?

* * * * *
    (h) Function test annular and ram BOPs every 7 days between 
pressure tests;
    (i) Actuate safety valves assembled with proper casing connections 
before running casing;
    (j) Test all ROV intervention functions on your subsea BOP stack 
during the stump test. You must also test at least one set of rams 
during the initial test on the seafloor. You must submit test 
procedures with your APD or APM for District Manager approval. You 
must:
    (1) ensure that the ROV hot stabs are function tested and are 
capable of actuating, at a minimum, one set of pipe rams and one set of 
blind-shear rams and unlatching the LMRP; and
    (2) document all your test results and make them available to 
BOEMRE upon request;
    (k) Function test autoshear and deadman systems on your subsea BOP 
stack during the stump test. You must also test the deadman system 
during the initial test on the seafloor.
    (1) You must submit test procedures with your APD or APM for 
District Manager approval.
    (2) You must document all your test results and make them available 
to BOEMRE upon request.
0
11. Amend Sec.  250.451 by adding new paragraph (i) to the table to 
read as follows:


Sec.  250.451  What must I do in certain situations involving BOP 
equipment or systems?

* * * * *

------------------------------------------------------------------------
     If you encounter the following
               situation:                      Then you must * * *
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                              * * * * * * *
(i) You activate blind-shear rams or     Retrieve, physically inspect,
 casing shear rams during a well          and conduct a full pressure
 control situation, in which pipe or      test of the BOP stack after
 casing is sheared.                       the situation is fully
                                          controlled.
 
                              * * * * * * *
------------------------------------------------------------------------


0
12. Amend Sec.  250.456 by:
0
a. Revising the last sentence in paragraph (i),
0
b. Redesignating paragraph (j) as (k), and

[[Page 63375]]

0
c. Adding a new paragraph (j) to read as follows:


Sec.  250.456  What safe practices must the drilling fluid program 
follow?

* * * * *
    (i) * * * You must record the results of these tests in the 
drilling fluid report;
    (j) Before displacing kill-weight drilling fluid from the wellbore, 
you must obtain prior approval from the District Manager. To obtain 
approval, you must submit with your APD or APM your reasons for 
displacing the kill-weight drilling fluid and provide detailed step-by-
step written procedures describing how you will safely displace these 
fluids. The step-by-step displacement procedures must address the 
following:
    (1) number and type of independent barriers that are in place for 
each flow path,
    (2) tests you will conduct to ensure integrity of independent 
barriers,
    (3) BOP procedures you will use while displacing kill weight 
fluids, and
    (4) procedures you will use to monitor fluids entering and leaving 
the wellbore; and
* * * * *

0
13. Amend Sec.  250.515 by adding new paragraphs (b)(5) and (e) to read 
as follows:


Sec.  250.515  Blowout prevention equipment.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                            The minimum BOP stack must
                  When                               include
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                              * * * * * * *
(5) You use a subsea BOP stack.........  The requirements in Sec.
                                          250.442(a) of this part.
 
                              * * * * * * *
------------------------------------------------------------------------

* * * * *
    (e) The subsea BOP system for well-completions must meet the 
requirements in Sec.  250.442 of this part.

0
14. Amend Sec.  250.516 by:
0
a. Revising (d)(6);
0
b. Adding new paragraphs (d)(8) and (d)(9); and
0
c. Revising paragraphs (g) and (h) to read as follows:


Sec.  250.516  Blowout preventer system tests, inspections, and 
maintenance.

* * * * *
    (d) * * *
    (6) Pressure-test variable bore-pipe rams against all sizes of pipe 
in use, excluding drill collars and bottom-hole tools;
* * * * *
    (8) Test all ROV intervention functions on your subsea BOP stack 
during the stump test. You must also test at least one set of rams 
during the initial test on the seafloor. You must submit test 
procedures with your APM for District Manager approval. You must:
    (i) Ensure that the ROV hot stabs are function tested and are 
capable of actuating, at a minimum, one set of pipe rams and one set of 
blind-shear rams and unlatching the LMRP;
    (ii) Document all your test results and make them available to 
BOEMRE upon request; and
    (9) Function test autoshear and deadman systems on your subsea BOP 
stack during the stump test. You must also test the deadman system 
during the initial test on the seafloor.
    (i) You must submit test procedures with your APM for District 
Manager approval.
    (ii) You must document all your test results and make them 
available to BOEMRE upon request.
* * * * *
    (g) BOP inspections. (1) You must inspect your BOP system to ensure 
that the equipment functions properly. The BOP inspections must meet or 
exceed the provisions of Sections 17.10 and 18.10, Inspections, 
described in API RP 53, Recommended Practices for Blowout Prevention 
Equipment Systems for Drilling Wells (incorporated by reference as 
specified in Sec.  250.198). You must document the procedures used, 
record the results, and make them available to BOEMRE upon request. You 
must maintain your records on the rig for 2 years or from the date of 
your last major inspection, whichever is longer.
    (2) You must visually inspect your BOP system and marine riser at 
least once each day if weather and sea conditions permit. You may use 
television cameras to inspect this equipment. The District Manager may 
approve alternate methods and frequencies to inspect a marine riser.
    (h) BOP maintenance. You must maintain your BOP system to ensure 
that the equipment functions properly. The BOP maintenance must meet or 
exceed the provisions of Sections 17.11 and 18.11, Maintenance; and 
Sections 17.12 and 18.12, Quality Management, described in API RP 53, 
Recommended Practices for Blowout Prevention Equipment Systems for 
Drilling Wells (incorporated by reference as specified in Sec.  
250.198). You must document the procedures used, record the results, 
and make available to BOEMRE upon request. You must maintain your 
records on the rig for 2 years or from the date of your last major 
inspection, whichever is longer.
* * * * *

0
15. Amend Sec.  250.615 by:
0
a. Adding new paragraph (b)(5),
0
b. Redesignating paragraphs (e) through (g) as (f) through (h), and
0
c. Adding new paragraph (e) to read as follows:


Sec.  250.615  Blowout prevention equipment.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                            The minimum BOP stack must
                  When                               include
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                              * * * * * * *
(5) You use a subsea BOP stack.........  The requirements in Sec.
                                          250.442(a) of this part.
 
                              * * * * * * *
------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 63376]]

    (e) The subsea BOP system for well-workover operations must meet 
the requirements in Sec.  250.442 of this part.
* * * * *

0
16. Amend Sec.  250.616 by adding new paragraph (h) to read as follows:


Sec.  250.616  Blowout preventer system testing, records, and drills.

* * * * *
    (h) Stump test a subsea BOP system before installation. You must:
    (1) Test all ROV intervention functions on your subsea BOP stack 
during the stump test. You must also test at least one set of rams 
during the initial test on the seafloor. You must submit test 
procedures with your APM for District Manager approval. You must:
    (i) Ensure that the ROV hot stabs are function tested and are 
capable of actuating, at a minimum, one set of pipe rams and one set of 
blind-shear rams and unlatching the LMRP;
    (ii) Document all your test results and make them available to 
BOEMRE upon request; and
    (2) Function test autoshear and deadman systems on your subsea BOP 
stack during the stump test. You must also test the deadman system 
during the initial test on the seafloor. You must:
    (i) Submit test procedures with your APM for District Manager 
approval.
    (ii) Document the results of each test and make them available to 
BOEMRE upon request.
    (3) Use water to stump test a subsea BOP system. You may use 
drilling or completion fluids to conduct subsequent tests of a subsea 
BOP system.


Sec. Sec.  250.617 and 250.618  [Redesignated as Sec. Sec.  250.618 and 
250.619]

0
17. Redesignate Sec. Sec.  250.617 and 250.618 to Sec. Sec.  250.618 
and 250.619, respectively.

0
18. Add new Sec.  250.617 to read as follows:


Sec.  250.617  What are my BOP inspection and maintenance requirements?

    (a) BOP inspections.
    (1) You must inspect your BOP system to ensure that the equipment 
functions properly. The BOP inspections must meet or exceed the 
provisions of Sections 17.10 and 18.10, Inspections, described in API 
RP 53, Recommended Practices for Blowout Prevention Equipment Systems 
for Drilling Wells (incorporated by reference as specified in Sec.  
250.198). You must document the procedures used, record the results, 
and make them available to BOEMRE upon request. You must maintain your 
records on the rig for 2 years or from the date of your last major 
inspection, whichever is longer.
    (2) You must visually inspect your BOP system and marine riser at 
least once each day if weather and sea conditions permit. You may use 
television cameras to inspect this equipment. The District Manager may 
approve alternate methods and frequencies to inspect a marine riser.
    (b) BOP maintenance. You must maintain your BOP system to ensure 
that the equipment functions properly. The BOP maintenance must meet or 
exceed the provisions of Sections 17.11 and 18.11, Maintenance; and 
Sections 17.12 and 18.12, Quality Management, described in API RP 53, 
Recommended Practices for Blowout Prevention Equipment Systems for 
Drilling Wells (incorporated by reference as specified in Sec.  
250.198). You must document the procedures used, record the results, 
and make them available to BOEMRE upon request. You must maintain your 
records on the rig for 2 years or from the date of your last major 
inspection, whichever is longer.

0
19. In Sec. Sec.  250.1500:
0
a. Amend the definition of ``Contractor and contract personnel'' and 
the definition of ``Employee'' by removing the phrase ``well control or 
production safety'', and in its place add the phrase ``well control, 
deepwater well control, or production safety''; and
0
b. Add definitions for ``Deepwater well control'', ``Well completion/
well workover'', Well control'', and ``Well servicing'' in alphabetical 
order to read as follows:


Sec.  250.1500  Definitions.

* * * * *
    Deepwater well control means well control when you are using a 
subsea BOP system.
* * * * *
    Well completion/well workover means those operations following the 
drilling of a well that are intended to establish or restore 
production.
    Well control means methods used to minimize the potential for the 
well to flow or kick and to maintain control of the well in the event 
of flow or a kick during drilling, well completion, well workover, and 
well servicing operations.
    Well servicing means snubbing, coiled tubing, and wireline 
operations.


Sec.  250.1501  [Amended]

0
20. In Sec. Sec.  250.1501, remove the phrase ``well control or 
production safety'', and in its place add the phrase ``well control, 
deepwater well control, or production safety''.


Sec.  250.1503  [Amended]

0
21. In Sec. Sec.  250.1503:
0
a. Redesignating paragraphs (b) and (c) as paragraphs (c) and (d);
0
b. Amending paragraphs (a), (c)(1), (c)(3) and (d)(1) by removing the 
phrase ``well control or production safety'', and in its place adding 
the phrase ``well control, deepwater well control, or production 
safety'';
0
c. Amend paragraph (a) by removing the phrase ``well control and 
production safety'', and in its place adding the phrase ``well control, 
deepwater well control, and production safety''; and
0
d. Adding new paragraph (b) to read as follows:


Sec.  250.1503  What are my general responsibilities for training?

* * * * *
    (b) If you conduct operations with a subsea BOP stack, your 
employees and contract personnel must be trained in deepwater well 
control. The trained employees and contract personnel must have a 
comprehensive knowledge of deepwater well control equipment, practices, 
and theory.


Sec.  250.1506  [Amended]

0
22. In Sec. Sec.  250.1506, amend paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) by 
removing the phrase ``well control or production safety'', and in its 
place adding the phrase ``well control, deepwater well control, or 
production safety''.


Sec.  250.1507  [Amended]

0
23. In Sec. Sec.  250.1507, amend paragraphs (c) and (d) by removing 
the phrase ``well control and production safety'', and in its place 
adding the phrase ``well control, deepwater well control, and 
production safety''.

0
24. Amend Sec.  250.1712 by,
0
a. Revising paragraph (e) and (f)(14); and
0
b. Adding new paragraph (g) to read as follows:


Sec.  250.1712  What information must I submit before I permanently 
plug a well or zone?

* * * * *
    (e) A description of the work;
    (f) * * *
    (14) Your plans to protect archaeological and sensitive biological 
features, including anchor damage during plugging operations, a brief 
assessment of the environmental impacts of the plugging operations, and 
the procedures and mitigation measures you will take to minimize such 
impacts; and
    (g) Certification by a Registered Professional Engineer of the well 
abandonment design and procedures; that there will be at least two

[[Page 63377]]

independent tested barriers, including one mechanical barrier, across 
each flow path during abandonment activities; and that the plug meets 
the requirements in the table in Sec.  250.1715. The Registered 
Professional Engineer must be registered in a State in the United 
States. You must submit this certification with your APM (Form MMS-
124).


0
25. Amend Sec.  250.1721 by:
0
a. Revising paragraphs (e) and (g)(3), and
0
b. Adding new paragraph (h) to read as follows:


Sec.  250.1721  If I temporarily abandon a well that I plan to re-
enter, what must I do?

* * * * *
    (e) Identify and report subsea wellheads, casing stubs, or other 
obstructions that extend above the mud line according to U.S. Coast 
Guard (USCG) requirements;
* * * * *
    (g) * * *
    (3) A description of any remaining subsea wellheads, casing stubs, 
mudline suspension equipment, or other obstructions that extend above 
the seafloor; and
    (h) Submit certification by a Registered Professional Engineer of 
the well abandonment design and procedures; that there will be at least 
two independent tested barriers, including one mechanical barrier, 
across each flow path during abandonment activities; and that the plug 
meets the requirements in the table in Sec.  250.1715. The Registered 
Professional Engineer must be registered in a State in the United 
States. You must submit this certification with your APM (Form MMS-124) 
required by Sec.  250.1712.

[FR Doc. 2010-25256 Filed 10-7-10; 11:15 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-MR-P