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e-CFR data is current as of August 5, 2020

Title 30Chapter IISubchapter BPart 250Subpart Q → Subject Group


Title 30: Mineral Resources
PART 250—OIL AND GAS AND SULPHUR OPERATIONS IN THE OUTER CONTINENTAL SHELF
Subpart Q—Decommissioning Activities


Removing Platforms and Other Facilities

§250.1725   When do I have to remove platforms and other facilities?

(a) You must remove all platforms and other facilities within 1 year after the lease or pipeline right-of-way terminates, unless you receive approval to maintain the structure to conduct other activities. Platforms include production platforms, well jackets, single-well caissons, and pipeline accessory platforms. Other activities include those supporting OCS oil and gas production and transportation, as well as other energy-related or marine-related uses (including LNG) for which adequate financial assurance for decommissioning has been provided to a Federal agency which has given BSEE a commitment that it has and will exercise authority to compel the performance of decommissioning within a time following cessation of the new use acceptable to BSEE. The approval will specify:

(1) Whether you must continue to maintain any financial assurance for decommissioning; and

(2) Whether, and under what circumstances, you must perform any decommissioning not performed by the new facility owner/user.

(b) Before you may remove a platform or other facility, you must submit a final removal application to the Regional Supervisor for approval and include the information listed in §250.1727.

(c) You must remove a platform or other facility according to the approved application.

(d) You must flush all production risers with seawater before you remove them.

(e) You must notify the Regional Supervisor at least 48 hours before you begin the removal operations.

§250.1726   When must I submit an initial platform removal application and what must it include?

An initial platform removal application is required only for leases and pipeline rights-of-way in the Pacific OCS Region or the Alaska OCS Region. It must include the following information:

(a) Platform or other facility removal procedures, including the types of vessels and equipment you will use;

(b) Facilities (including pipelines) you plan to remove or leave in place;

(c) Platform or other facility transportation and disposal plans;

(d) Plans to protect marine life and the environment during decommissioning operations, including a brief assessment of the environmental impacts of the operations, and procedures and mitigation measures that you will take to minimize the impacts; and

(e) A projected decommissioning schedule.

§250.1727   What information must I include in my final application to remove a platform or other facility?

You must submit to the Regional Supervisor, a final application for approval to remove a platform or other facility. Your application must be accompanied by payment of the service fee listed in §250.125. If you are proposing to use explosives, provide three copies of the application. If you are not proposing to use explosives, provide two copies of the application. Include the following information in the final removal application, as applicable:

(a) Identification of the applicant including:

(1) Lease operator/pipeline right-of-way holder;

(2) Address;

(3) Contact person and telephone number; and

(4) Shore base.

(b) Identification of the structure you are removing including:

(1) Platform Name/BSEE Complex ID Number;

(2) Location (lease/right-of-way, area, block, and block coordinates);

(3) Date installed (year);

(4) Proposed date of removal (Month/Year); and

(5) Water depth.

(c) Description of the structure you are removing including:

(1) Configuration (attach a photograph or a diagram);

(2) Size;

(3) Number of legs/casings/pilings;

(4) Diameter and wall thickness of legs/casings/pilings;

(5) Whether piles are grouted inside or outside;

(6) Brief description of soil composition and condition;

(7) The sizes and weights of the jacket, topsides (by module), conductors, and pilings; and

(8) The maximum removal lift weight and estimated number of main lifts to remove the structure.

(d) A description, including anchor pattern, of the vessel(s) you will use to remove the structure.

(e) Identification of the purpose, including:

(1) Lease expiration/right-of-way relinquishment date; and

(2) Reason for removing the structure.

(f) A description of the removal method, including:

(1) A brief description of the method you will use;

(2) If you are using explosives, the following:

(i) Type of explosives;

(ii) Number and sizes of charges;

(iii) Whether you are using single shot or multiple shots;

(iv) If multiple shots, the sequence and timing of detonations;

(v) Whether you are using a bulk or shaped charge;

(vi) Depth of detonation below the mud line; and

(vii) Whether you are placing the explosives inside or outside of the pilings;

(3) If you will use divers or acoustic devices to conduct a pre-removal survey to detect the presence of turtles and marine mammals, a description of the proposed detection method; and

(4) A statement whether or not you will use transducers to measure the pressure and impulse of the detonations.

(g) Your plans for transportation and disposal (including as an artificial reef) or salvage of the removed platform.

(h) If available, the results of any recent biological surveys conducted in the vicinity of the structure and recent observations of turtles or marine mammals at the structure site.

(i) Your plans to protect archaeological and sensitive biological features during removal operations, including a brief assessment of the environmental impacts of the removal operations and procedures and mitigation measures you will take to minimize such impacts.

(j) A statement whether or not you will use divers to survey the area after removal to determine any effects on marine life.

§250.1728   To what depth must I remove a platform or other facility?

(a) Unless the Regional Supervisor approves an alternate depth under paragraph (b) of this section, you must remove all platforms and other facilities (including templates and pilings) to at least 15 feet below the mud line.

(b) The Regional Supervisor may approve an alternate removal depth if:

(1) The remaining structure would not become an obstruction to other users of the seafloor or area, and geotechnical and other information you provide demonstrate that erosional processes capable of exposing the obstructions are not expected; or

(2) You determine, and BSEE concurs, that you must use divers and the seafloor sediment stability poses safety concerns; or

(3) The water depth is greater than 800 meters (2,624 feet).

§250.1729   After I remove a platform or other facility, what information must I submit?

Within 30 days after you remove a platform or other facility, you must submit a written report to the Regional Supervisor that includes the following:

(a) A summary of the removal operation including the date it was completed;

(b) A description of any mitigation measures you took; and

(c) A statement signed by your authorized representative that certifies that the types and amount of explosives you used in removing the platform or other facility were consistent with those set forth in the approved removal application.

§250.1730   When might BSEE approve partial structure removal or toppling in place?

The Regional Supervisor may grant a departure from the requirement to remove a platform or other facility by approving partial structure removal or toppling in place for conversion to an artificial reef if you meet the following conditions:

(a) The structure becomes part of a State artificial reef program, and the responsible State agency acquires a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and accepts title and liability for the structure; and

(b) You satisfy any U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) navigational requirements for the structure.

§250.1731   Who is responsible for decommissioning an OCS facility subject to an Alternate Use RUE?

(a) The holder of an Alternate Use RUE issued under 30 CFR part 585 is responsible for all decommissioning obligations that accrue following the issuance of the Alternate Use RUE and which pertain to the Alternate Use RUE. See 30 CFR part 585, subpart J, for additional information concerning the decommissioning responsibilities of an Alternate Use RUE grant holder.

(b) The lessee under the lease originally issued under 30 CFR part 556 will remain responsible for decommissioning obligations that accrued before issuance of the Alternate Use RUE, as well as for decommissioning obligations that accrue following issuance of the Alternate Use RUE to the extent associated with continued activities authorized under this part.

(c) If a lease issued under 30 CFR part 556 is cancelled or otherwise terminated under any provision of this subchapter, the lessee, upon our approval, may defer removal of any OCS facility within the lease area that is subject to an Alternate Use RUE. If we elect to grant such a deferral, the lessee remains responsible for removing the facility upon termination of the Alternate Use RUE and will be required to retain sufficient bonding or other financial assurances to ensure that the structure is removed or otherwise decommissioned in accordance with the provisions of this subpart.

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