A federal judge in the Louisiana District Court has upheld a complaint by Gulf of Mexico oil service company, Ensco Offshore Co., against the Department of the Interior’s imposition in June of new safety rules for drilling in the outer continental shelf.
Interior issued the safety rules in a notice to lessees, designated NTL-05.
In a court order issued on Oct. 19 Judge Martin Feldman said that the new safety rules appeared to be substantive in nature and that Interior had contravened the Administrative Procedure Act by not giving public notice of the rules and then giving the public an opportunity to comment on them.
“Notice and comments were required by law,” Feldman said. “The government did not comply, and the NTL-05 is of no lawful force or effect.”
See full story in the Oct. 31 issue of Petroleum News, available to subscribers online at noon, Friday, Oct. 29 at www.PetroleumNews.com