About Bsee / Our Organization / National Programs

National Programs

BSEE’s six national programs set the Bureau’s policy and performance goals. Implementation of those goals occurs in the field. Daily field operations are managed by regions and districts in accordance with the national policies. Below are brief overviews of BSEE’s six national programs.

Office of Offshore Regulatory Programs

The Office of Offshore Regulatory Programs (OORP) manages rules, standards, and compliance programs governing oil, gas, and mineral operations on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).

The OORP Emerging Technologies Branch (ETB) is charged with the identification, development and incorporation of new or emerging technologies into the BSEE regulatory program. Two major components of this effort are efforts to make sure that Best Available and Safest Technologies (BAST) are employed on OCS facilities and proper Safety and Environmental Management Systems (SEMS) are not only in place, but also followed.

The OORP Offshore Safety Improvement Branch is responsible for oversight of the Bureau's programs for inspection, aviation management, data analysis, and systems reliability and supports incident investigations when appropriate.

The OORP Offshore Training Branch (OTB) develops and designs training and professional development opportunities for all BSEE employees.

The OORP Civil Penalties and Enforcement Support Team oversees the BSEE Civil Penalty and Enforcement Program. The goal of the OCS Civil Penalties Program is to assure safe and clean operations on the OCS.

Oil Spill Preparedness Program

BSEE administers a robust Oil Spill Preparedness Program through its Oil Spill Preparedness Division (OSPD) to ensure owners and operators of offshore facilities in State and Federal waters are ready to respond to oil spills that may result from their activities. 

The Division’s responsibilities include: (1) reviewing and approving  oil spill response plans, (2) funding, conducting, and disseminating oil spill response research, (3) supporting the National Response Team, Regional Response Teams, Area Committees, and the Interagency Coordinating Committee on Oil Pollution Research, (3) managing Ohmsett – the National Oil Spill Response Research Test Facility, (4) providing subject matter expertise to the federal on-scene coordinator during oil spills from regulated offshore facilities, (5) engaging with the international community to improve oil spill planning, preparedness, and response, (6) conducting government-initiated unannounced exercises to verify response capabilities of spill management teams and oil spill removal organizations, and (7) verifying that spill response equipment and resources intended for spills from offshore facilities are maintained at their  optimal performance levels.

Environmental Compliance Program

Environmental stewardship is one of the three major responsibilities of BSEE. The Environmental Compliance Program (ECP) fulfils the bureau’s mission by monitoring, verifying, improving, and enforcing environmental standards during Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) exploration and production operations. The standards ECP enforces and mandates include adherence to environmental laws and regulations, as well as fulfilment of relevant provisions, stipulations, and conditions placed on OCS leases, plans, and permits.

The specific responsibilities of ECP are: (1) environmental oversight in the Alaska OCS Regional Office (AKOCSR), Pacific OCS Regional Office (POCSR), and the Gulf of Mexico OCS Regional Office (GOMR) , (2) environmental policy, regulation, and program development and implementation, (3) compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regarding the permitting of BSEE’s OCS operations, and the monitoring of these activities, (4) coordination with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and other federal, state, and local agencies, and (5) public outreach efforts regarding environmental compliance. The Environmental Compliance Division (ECD), at the Headquarters' level. facilitates a nationally consistent approach through strategic goals, performance measures, and policies for the execution of environmental compliance functions within ECP bureau-wide.

National Investigations Program

When serious incidents occur offshore, the people impacted, and the public in general, expect a rigorous and thorough investigation to occur. BSEE is the agency generally charged with conducting such investigations. National policies regarding investigations related to incidents on the OCS are established by BSEE’s National Investigations Program through its Safety and Incidents Investigations Division (SIID). National policies regarding training for BSEE investigators and the procedures for how investigations must be conducted and documented are all controlled by SIID.  In addition, SIID sets the policies regarding how incident information is managed. Finally, the SIID is responsible for monitoring execution and effectiveness of investigation activity.

National Enforcement Program

BSEE’s National Enforcement Program is managed by the Safety Enforcement Division (SED) to oversee the enforcement of federal regulations that govern OCS operations. Enforcement is the primary tool used by the agency to ensure compliance with these regulations. When regulations are violated, the agency issues penalties and require corrective actions take place to bring operators into compliance. Regulation violations result in the issuance Incidents of Non-Compliance (INCs). When an operator fails to correct issues related to an INC or the violation constituted an occurrence or threat of harm to people or the environment, the agency may issue civil penalties.

SED maintains oversight of the National Enforcement Program to:

  1. Develop national policy and procedures.
  2. Establish enforcement priorities.
  3. Develop program and management controls for bureau-wide activities.
  4. Ensure consistent application of enforcement processes.
  5. Ensure staff receive required training.
  6. Serve as the primary office facilitating settlement agreements.
  7. Serve as a liaison with other DOI components, outside agencies, and stakeholders.

Office of Administration

The Office of Administration assists BSEE and BOEM to meet its mission by sound management of its finance systems and through the provision of effective administrative services. The Office is responsible for the development and implementation of policies and procedures which affect these functions, consistent with guidelines for the Congress, the OMB, and the Department, as well as other appropriate agencies. 

Offices under the Office of Administration include:

  • Acquisition Management Division
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Division
  • Finance Division
  • Human Resources Division
  • Management Support Division
  • Technical Services Division
  • Data Stewardship Office
  • Records Management and Directives Office