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Soundings Archive

MMS Determines that Shell Plan for Beaufort Exploration is Complete
On August 10, 2009, the United States Mineral Management Service published MMS' determination that Shell Offshore, Inc.'s Exploration Plan to explore two oil and gas leases in the Beaufort Sea is "complete."

This determination means that MMS has 30 day s to analyze and evaluate Shell's plan. This review requires that MMS prepare an Environmental Assessment specific to Shell's exploration. Upon completion of the technical and environmental review, MMS must decide if the plan is approved, requires modifications, or is disapproved.

According to MMS' press release:

    "The two leases were obtained by Shell Offshore, Inc. during Beaufort Sea oil and gas lease sales 195 and 202 in 2005 and 2007. The sales were included in the 2002-2007 five year oil and gas leasing program and are not affected by the recent court decision on the current leasing program, which sent the 2007-2012 program back to MMS for additional environmental reviews."
The referenced court decision requires MMS to report, at 60-day intervals, to the United States Court of Appeals on MMS' progress in conducting the "additional environmental reviews" required by the court's decision.
  • Click here to read MMS' Determination of Shell's Plan

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