An offshore decommissioning project is ongoing in the Gulf of Mexico on orphaned wells in the Matagorda Island area and federal officials surveyed the progress everyone is making.

In the inspection, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) Director Kevin Sligh joined the Department of Interior’s (DOI) Senior Advisor and Infrastructure Coordinator Winnie Stachelberg among others.

One of BSEE’s key responsibilities is ensuring infrastructure used in exploration, development, and production activities is undergoing proper decommissioning procedures in an effort to provide for the long-term protection of offshore resources and the environment.

Last year, BSEE awarded contracts for the decommissioning of nine orphaned wells, along with associated pipelines and platforms, in the Matagorda Island lease area, which lies in federal waters approximately 12 miles off the Texas coast.

The project is tackling the most urgent decommissioning needs to minimize the risk of environmental pollution and safety incidents, including by securing wellheads, removing hazardous materials, and preparing the site for well plugging, which permanently seals the wells.

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“The dedicated funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law represents a significant commitment by the administration for environmental protection and responsible resource management,” Sligh said. “By addressing orphaned infrastructure, BSEE is reducing environmental risks, enhancing safety, and clearing the way for new uses.”

“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding allocated for BSEE marks a critical step toward a cleaner and safer ocean environment,” Stachelberg siad. “This once in a generation investment is creating jobs and reducing legacy pollution from coast to coast, and beyond.”

BSEE is working on decommissioning nine orphaned wells, along with associated pipelines and platforms, in the Matagorda Island lease area in the Gulf of Mexico.

Source: BSEE

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