In keeping with the resource conservation mission established by the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Lands Act, BSEE recognizes the importance of the OCS to America's energy portfolio and promotes diligent and responsible exploration, development, production, and transportation of offshore energy. Maximizing oil and gas recovery, ensuring accurate production measurement and preparing for the advancement of offshore renewable energy are core Bureau functions. BSEE’s efforts to prevent the stranding of the nation’s oil and natural gas resources promotes responsible, efficient production of these resources.
On April 30, 2020, BSEE issued guidance regarding “special case royalty relief” (SCRR) available pursuant to 30 CFR 203.80. The guidance explained two processes for requesting discretionary SCRR under this regulation: 1) Option 1 – a process for SCRR requests for leases/units that did not involve the drilling of well(s), and 2) Option 2 – a process for SCRR requests for leases/units/projects that did involve the drilling of well(s). While Option 2 reflects a long-standing process, BSEE developed Option 1 in early 2020 during a period when the Bureau was concerned that prevailing circumstances could have led to premature abandonment and stranding of oil and gas reserves without an SCRR process to address operations that did not include drilling. However, these circumstances have improved over the last year. In addition, throughout its implementation BSEE has analyzed the effectiveness and administrability of the Option 1 process and at this point has determined that it is appropriate to discontinue this option. Therefore, the Option 1 process guidance has been withdrawn, while the Option 2 guidance remains. Note that operators may still submit royalty relief requests for operations that do not involve drilling under the End-of-Life royalty relief program (30 CFR 203.50-203.56).