Headlines: NIC – injection of cement into wellhead has been completed; National Commission – meeting; NOAA – recovery plan for the fin whale; Brownsville – new toll road for port access; House – bill introduced re regulation of oil leases; House – bill introduced re reimbursement of state oil spill removal costs; Senate – bill introduced to provide royalty relief; EU NAVFOR – detained suspects sent back to Somalia; Gulf of Aden – pirate hijack freighter; and NOSAC – meeting – errata.
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NIC – injection of cement into wellhead has been completed
The National Incident Command (NIC) issued a news release stating that the injection of cement into the wellhead has been completed. Tests will be conducted over the next 24 hours to ensure that the wellhead is secure. Drilling of the relief wells continues. (8/5/10).
National Commission – meeting
The National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling, sponsored by the Department of Energy, will meet in Washington, DC on August 25. The purpose of the meeting is to inform the Commission members about relevant facts and circumstances concerning root causes of the oil disaster. 75 Fed. Reg. 47584 (August 6, 2010).
NOAA – recovery plan for the fin whale
Brownsville – new toll road for port access
The Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a news release stating that ground has been broken on a state highway project that includes construction of a new toll road to relieve congestion, improve safety, and enhance access to the Port of Brownsville. Plans call for a divided, limited-access road with two new truck tolled lanes. The highway will provide a new entry point for truck traffic to the Port and is expected to be key to the region’s development as it hopes to become a major center of international trade. (8/5/10).
House – bill introduced re renegotiation of oil leases
Representative Markey (D-MA) introduced the Deficit Reduction through Fair Oil Royalties Act (H.R. 6051) to prohibit the Secretary of the Interior from issuing any new lease that authorizes the production of oil or natural gas under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to a person that does not renegotiate existing leases held by the person to incorporate limitations on royalty relief based on market price that are equal to or less than price thresholds that apply to other leases under that Act, and for other purposes. (7/30/10).
House – bill introduced re reimbursement of state oil spill removal costs
Representative Meek (D-FL) introduced a bill (H.R. 6053) to amend the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 to provide for timely consideration of claims submitted by States and political subdivisions for reimbursement of removal costs. (7/30/10).
Senate – bill introduced to provide royalty relief
Senator Nelson (D-FL) introduced the Royalty Relief for American Consumers Act of 2010 (S. 3687) to provide royalty relief, and for other purposes. (8/2/10).
EU NAVFOR – detained suspects sent back to Somalia
The EU NAVFOR issued a press release stating that the seven individuals stopped on August 3 by one of its warships for an attack on a merchant vessel in the Gulf of Aden have been returned to Somalia. The explanation for this action follows: “Due to the legal framework and timelines encompassing piracy and criminal activity at sea, the prosecution of the seven individuals in this specific case could not be initiated with confidence. Whilst this EU NAVFOR operation was successful in preventing the attack on the MV BOW SAGA, this case again highlights the importance of the continuing efforts to harmonise the prosecution system.” (8/5/10). Note: One can only hope that this is a one-off event and not an indication that the naval forces patrolling the Indian Ocean and their governments have lost the resolve to continue this important effort.
Gulf of Aden – pirates hijack freighter
The EU NAVFOR issued a press release stating that pirates attacked and hijacked a freighter in the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor through the Gulf of Aden. The ship was carrying a cargo of sugar and has a crew of 24. (8/5/10).
NOSAC – meeting – errata
The National Offshore Safety Advisory Committee (NOSAC), sponsored by the US Coast Guard, will conduct a teleconference on September 29 to discuss items related to safety of operations and other matters affecting the oil and gas offshore industry. 75 Fed. Reg. 47311 (August 5, 2010). Note: Yesterday’s newsletter reported an erroneous date for the teleconference meeting. Mea culpa.
If you have questions regarding the above items, please contact the editor:
Dennis L. Bryant
Bryant’s Maritime Consulting
4845 SW 91st Way
Gainesville, FL 32608-8135
© Dennis L. Bryant – August 2010