One side note from BSEE’s recent announcement on the SEMS audit deadline – We now have a clearer idea of how many offshore operators there actually are in U.S. federal waters. When the Safety and Environmental Management System (SEMS) rule first came out in 2010, the government said there were 130 operators of oil and gas facilities on the Outer Continental Shelf. However, in the complex world of oil and gas partnerships and idle iron, that was just a guesstimate.
Then on November 20th, BSEE announced that it was citing 12 offshore operators for failing to submit a completed SEMS audit. Buried in that announcement was a statement that “Eighty-four operators were subject to the Nov. 15, audit deadline,” meaning that, at least in the government’s eyes, 84 operators have at least one offshore facility that holds a BSEE lease of right-of-way. Of course, since many of the 12 operators cited are trying to finish decommissioning projects to leave the gulf, the number may be closer to 72. A 45% drop from 130 to 72 is pretty significant.
Why is this important? It shows that the number of small independents continues to drop (and perhaps that the requirements of SEMS may be one reason).