Interior outlines plan to make offshore permitting more efficient

While the new procedures don’t represent a change in policy, they are intended to provide clarity to industry and to streamline BOEMRE’s review of permit application.

As part of the new procedures, BOEMRE said Friday it will provide oil and gas operators with a “completeness checklist” outlining what must be included in a permit application.

Agency staff will also conduct an initial review of an application once it is received to identify any glaring omissions in “to improve the efficiency of the review process and reduce the number of permits returned to operators because of incomplete information.”

Complete applications will be given first priority in the review process, BOEMRE says.

BOEMRE has approved permits for 15 unique deepwater wells. The agency says there are 24 permits pending review. Eighteen permits have been returned because they need additional information.

“The changes announced today should over time substantially reduce the number of permits that need to be returned to operators,” BOEMRE said.