Funding worth up to $40 million (£30m) has been announced to support additional improvements in safety and environmental sustainability in offshore energy exploration and production in the US.
The Department of the Interior Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) and the Department of Energy (DOE) will jointly support a programme of research and development related to offshore oil, natural gas, wind and marine hydrokinetic energy production, with a focus on safety, environmental monitoring and operational improvements.
The funding for the Operation and Maintenance of the Ocean Energy Safety Institute (OESI 2.0) will be provided over a five-year period.
OESI was originally envisioned as an entity that would facilitate R&D on – and implementation of – operational improvements in the areas of offshore drilling safety and environmental protection, blowout containment and oil spill prevention and response.
OESI 2.0 will expand the scope to include offshore renewable energy development considerations as well as oil and gas production and development considerations, through a collaborative initiative involving government, academia and scientific experts.
Deputy Energy Secretary Mark W. Menezes said: “Our nation’s energy, economic and national security rely on our all-of-the-above approach to producing safe, reliable and resilient energy.
“Through federal collaboration and a cross-sector approach, we can increase support for offshore energy production while protecting our workers and the marine environment.”
The BSEE has so far implemented around 110 new environmental and 130 new safety initiatives to equip itself with strong, smart and durable processes and programmes.