Interior's Report on OCS Shut-In and Flaring Wells Is Unnecessary

RCED-85-10: Published: Oct 30, 1984. Publicly Released: Oct 30, 1984.

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GAO evaluated the methodology that the Secretary of the Interior uses in allowing offshore oil and gas wells to be suspended from production or to burn off natural gas.

GAO found that: (1) the Department of the Interior relies primarily on data submitted by well operators, which is verified by Interior's Minerals Management Service; (2) the methodology used for allowing offshore oil and gas wells to be shut-in or to flare natural gas was reasonable; and (3) Interior's procedures were adequate to effectively monitor these activities. GAO also believes that, since Interior's annual report has not been useful to Congress, both the report and the GAO evaluation are no longer necessary.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Based on this recommendation, Congress passed the OCS Paperwork and Reporting Act which was signed into law by the President on July 31, 1986. The law repeals section 15(i)(D) of the OCS Lands Act, as amended, and sections 601(a) and (b) of the OCS Lands Act Amendments of 1978. These sections required Interior and GAO annual reviews and reports on offshore shut-in and flaring wells.

    Matter: Congress should repeal section 15(1)(D) of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, as amended, and sections 601(a) and (b) of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act Amendments of 1978.

 

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