The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced last week that the agency will not process oil and gas lease amendments that include a stipulation that imposes a 75-day timeframe on the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) to approve Applications for Permit to Drill (APDs) and Applications for Permit to Modify (APMs) in the Gulf of Mexico Region.

The 75-day processing time is already routinely met by BSEE.

Oil and gas leases issued via lease sales include stipulations that, among other things, protect biologically sensitive resources, mitigate potential adverse effects on protected species, and avoid potential conflicts associated with oil and gas development in the region.

Stipulation 11 was first included in last year’s Gulf of Mexico Region-Wide Lease Sale 256, and holders of existing leases issued prior to Lease Sale 256 were able to apply for a lease amendment that would incorporate the provision. Existing leases with the Stipulation 11 provision will not be affected by the decision to no longer process the lease amendments.

BSEE meets the 75-day time frame for issuing APDs and APMs specified in Stipulation 11 more than 90% of the time. There are no underlying issues adversely affecting the timing for issuance of APDs and APMs.