The U.S. government is considering changes to policies for oil companies operating in the offshore Gulf of Mexico that might allow existing platforms to lengthen extensions to remote wells, a U.S. official said on Monday.
Oil companies operate 68 offshore deepwater platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. To keep costs in check, companies often drill new wells within about 25 to 30 miles of these existing platforms, and connect those new wells with what are known as tiebacks.
The U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement is reviewing policies that limit the length of those tiebacks, director Scott Angelle told Reuters on Monday. More details will be available later this year, he said.
The bureau is considering whether there is “a policy change that can make subsea tiebacks and investment into the Gulf of Mexico bigger, broader and bolder for the next decade,” Angelle said.