American Oil and Gas Reporter - February 2018 - 16

IndustryDigest
The request for public comments
parallels an invitation for states and
tribal governments to provide additional
information before EPA determines
which counties are in attainment under
the agency's Nov. 6 initial air quality
designations. The agency says it has
designated 2,646 counties, two separate
Indian counties in those counties, and
five territories in that initial assessment.
Governments have 120 days to respond.
On Dec. 21, EPA responded to
earlier state and tribal recommendations
by determining anticipated area
designations for those counties not
designated under the 2015 ozone
standards.
The agency revised its primary and
secondary ozone National Ambient Air
Quality Standards on Oct. 1, 2015, at
0.70 parts per billion, but never
finalized how it would implement the
rule. The Trump White House sought to
delay designating areas as being in
nonattainment, which prompted 15
states and several environmental groups
to sue (AOGR, January 2017, pg. 24).
Following each revision of the ozone
standards, the Clean Air Act requires
EPA to designate all areas of the
country as either in attainment,
nonattainment or unclassifiable, with
governors and tribal leaders afforded the
opportunity to recommend air quality
designations, including boundaries,
EPA says.
"We stand ready to assist and hope to
resolve any differences regarding the
proper designation for all remaining
areas within the 120-day process
provided by the CAA," the agency
writes. "Once designations take effect,
they govern what subsequent regulatory
actions states, tribes and the EPA must
take in order to improve or preserve air
quality in each area." r

Government Increases
OCS Oil Spill Liability
And Maximum Penalty

WASHINGTON-The federal
government is increasing the limits on
liability for Outer Continental Shelf oil
spill damages and on civil penalties.
In separate announcements both
dated Jan. 17, the Bureau of Ocean
Energy Management says it is raising
the limit for oil spill damages from
$133.66 million to $137.66 million, and
16 THE AMERICAN OIL & GAS REPORTER

the Bureau of Safety and Environmental
Enforcement says the maximum penalty
rate for Outer Continental Shelf Lands
Act violations is going from $42,704 a
day to $43,576 per violation. The new
oil spill liability limit is to be effective
Feb. 20, while the maximum penalty
rate, which was announced as a final
rule, was effective Jan. 18.
BOEM points out that its inflation
adjustment to the oil spill liability limit
is mandated by the Oil Pollution Act of
1990, and is based on the increase in the
Consumer Price Index between 2013
and 2016. It says the increase to
$137.66 million is the maximum
allowed, and the agency reiterates that it
applies only to oil spill damages and not
to other liabilities such as spill removal
and cleanup costs.
BOEM last adjusted the oil spill
liability limit in December 2014.
BSEE says the Federal Civil
Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of
2015 requires all federal agencies to
adjust their penalty rates annually,
based on the CPI. BSEE last adjusted its
maximum penalty in February 2017.
"Assessing civil penalties is one of
the tools BSEE uses to promote safe and
environmentally sustainable operations,"
comments Director Scott Angelle.
"America's energy future depends on
robust OCS production, and oil and gas
operators must produce in a safe and
environmentally sustainable manner." r

Unconventional Oil And
Gas Are The Targets
For DOE Project Grants

WASHINGTON-The U.S.
Department of Energy has awarded
approximately $30 million in federal
funding for six cost-shared research and
development projects in unconventional
oil and natural gas recovery.
DOE says the projects, announced in
January, were selected through its
Office of Fossil Energy's Advanced
Technology Solutions for
Unconventional Oil and Gas
Development project solicitation, and
are intended to address reservoir
behavior and optimal well completion
strategies, next-generation subsurface
diagnostic technologies, and advanced
offshore technologies. The agency adds
that the solicitation was focused on field
projects in emerging unconventional

plays producing less than 50,000 barrels
a day.
DOE says the projects are part of its
portfolio to advance environmentally
sound development of domestic
unconventional oil and gas resources
through:
* Improving understanding of the
processes involved in resource
development;
* Advancing technologies and
engineering practices to ensure
resources are developed efficiently and
with minimal environmental impact and
risk; and
* Increasing the supply of U.S.
crude oil and natural gas to enhance
national energy dominance and security.
The projects selected and the amount
of DOE funding follow:
* "Hexagonal Boron Nitride
Reinforced Multifunctional Well
Cement for Extreme Conditions,"
($1.50 million) by C-Crete
Technologies LLC in Stafford, Tx., will
provide a systems approach for
developing a next-generation well
cement for use in extreme high
temperatures and pressures, and
corrosive conditions.
* "Hydraulic Fracture Test Site II-
Delaware Basin" ($7.98 million)-by the
Institute of Gas Technology will
evaluate well completion and design
optimization, and quantify
environmental impact of hydraulic
fracturing in the Wolfcamp formation in
the Delaware Basin portion of the
Permian Basin.
* "Eagle Ford Shale Laboratory: A
Field Study of the Stimulated Reservoir
Volume, Detailed Fracture
Characteristics, and EOR Potential,"
($8.00 million) by the Texas A&M
Engineering Experiment Station in
College Station is intended to help
operators select refracturing candidates
and design refrac treatments. The
project also will gain knowledge about
created fracture geometry by utilizing
high-resolution, distributed sensing
technologies during fracturing.
* "In Situ Applied Coatings for
Mitigating Gas Hydrate Deposition in
Deepwater Operations," ($1.50 million)
by The Trustees of the Colorado School
of Mines will develop pipeline coatings
that prevent deposits of hydrates in
undersea oil pipelines, and that can be
applied in situ to treat existing flowlines.
* "Tuscaloosa Marine Shale



American Oil and Gas Reporter - February 2018

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Oil and Gas Reporter - February 2018

Contents
American Oil and Gas Reporter - February 2018 - 1
American Oil and Gas Reporter - February 2018 - 1
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American Oil and Gas Reporter - February 2018 - Contents
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