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BOEMRE to make oil, gas permits simpler

Sept. 1, 2011 at 9:46 AM

WASHINGTON, Sept. 1 (UPI) -- U.S. regulators said they were implementing new tools to make the permit process for offshore oil and gas development easier.

Michael Bromwich, director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, said he was trying to eliminate the "back and forth with plan and permit applications" to make the process more efficient.

"That will result in higher quality applications in the first instance and reduce the need for them to be returned to operators," he said in a statement. "We will continue to search for additional ways to improve our own processes and make them more efficient, without in any way modifying or relaxing the more stringent safety and environmental rules we have implemented over the past year."

Some U.S. lawmakers have pressed for more domestic oil and gas exploration as a way to reduce dependency on foreign energy and stimulate the national economy.

The BOEMRE in June published a permit application checklist to help oil and gas operators complete their applications to drill offshore. The agency since February has approved hundreds of new offshore permits, include more than 100 approved for deepwater work.

The BOEMRE curtailed much offshore work last year following the Deepwater Horizon oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico.

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