The US Department of the Interior (DOI) is about to start the comment period for a new five-year program for leasing offshore oil and gas on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).
President Donald Trump issued an executive order in April calling for a new plan as part of his initiatives to unshackle American energy firms from what the president and his Republican Congress deem to be overly intrusive restrictions and regulations under the previous administration of President Barack Obama.
The current five-year plan, which was set to run from 2017-2022, will remain in force until the new OCS program is complete.
Next step is publication in the Federal Register of a Request for Information and Comments (RFI) on the Preparation of the 2019-2024 OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program. That publication is expected to be on Monday (July 3).
After that, there is a 45-day public comment period. Those comments will be taken on board when the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) – part of the DOI – evaluates the 26 OCS planning areas.
The impetus of President Trump’s agenda is to make more OCS areas available for E&P by energy firms.