Safety and Environmental Enforcement Research and Data Collection for Offshore Energy and Mineral Activities

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) program provides major economic and energy benefits on a national and local level to the taxpayers and states.

The Agency oversees the exploration and development of oil, natural gas and other materials and renewable energy alternatives

on the Nation's outer continental shelf.

BSEE continues to look for better ways to serve the American people and to ensure that the nation receives the best oversight and regulation of National resource development now and into the future.

The program not only supports decisions made within the Department of the Interior, but also provides coastal states and local governments with the information necessary to ensure that all stages of offshore energy and mineral activities are conducted in a manner to protect both the human and natural environments.

The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) Sections 1347 and 1348 respectively mandate the development and enforcement of regulations that protect safety, health and the environment.

OCSLA Section 1345 authorizes the use of cooperative agreements with affected States to meet the requirements of OCSLA, including sharing of information, joint utilization of available expertise, formation of joint monitoring arrangements to carry out applicable Federal and State laws, regulations, and stipulations revelant to outer continental shelf operations both onshore and offshore.

The purposes of the Office of Offshore Regulatory Program (OORP) is to obtain the information needed to improve the knowledge, practices, and technologies used to promote operational safety and pollution prevention for offshore oil and gas activities and alternate energy projects.
Examples of Funded Projects

Fiscal Year 2016: Operation and Maintenance of the Ocean Energy Safety Institute (OESI).

Fiscal Year 2017: Operation and Maintenance of the Ocean Energy Safety Institute (OESI).

Fiscal Year 2018: No Current Data Available.

Agency - Department of the Interior

The Department of the Interior protects and provides access to the Nation's natural and cultural heritage, including responsibilities to Indian tribes and island communities. Departmental goals include resource protection and usage, overseeing recreational opportunities, serving communities and excellence in management.

Website Address

Relevant Nonprofit Program Categories

Program Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2016: Operation and Maintenance of the Ocean Energy Safety Institute (OESI). The mission of the OESI is provide a forum for dialogue, shared learning and cooperative research among academia, government, industry and other non-government organizations in offshore-related technologies and activities that help ensure environmentally safe and responsible offshore operations. OESI represents a cooperative agreement partnership between BSEE, Texas A&M University, University of Texas and University of Houston. OESI stems from a recommendation from the Ocean Energy Safety Advisory Committee, a federal advisory group comprised of representatives from industry, federal government agencies, non-governmental organizations and the academic community. OESI is an important source of unbiased, independent information and will not have any regulatory authority over the offshore industry. OESI is a collaborative venture that will also include involvement on science and technology issues from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. OESI will promote collaboration among Federal agencies, industry, standards organizations, and academia in order to provide technical assistance to BSEE, BOEM, and the industry in areas related to emerging technologies, the best available and safest technologies (BAST), and the identification of gaps in safety research. In addition, it will assist in the development of databases to measure and assess the reliability of safety systems and train Federal employees to enable them to remain current on state-of-the-art technology. Information on issues related to offshore safety and best practices will be shared with industry, government, and the public through OESI held forums. Fiscal Year 2017: To date, OESI has conducted eight forums which include Risk, Data Collection, Research, Human Factors, Shallow Water Blowouts, SEMS Next Steps, Keeping a Focus on Barriers for Safer Offshore Operations and Alarm Management Best Practices and Focus on Managing Drilling Margin and Well Control Risk. These forums have created a forum for dialogue for shared learning and cooperative research among academia, government, industry and other non-governmental organizations, in ocean energy related technologies and activities that ensure safe and environmentally responsible ocean energy operations. OESI supported BSEE as they hosted the 2015 BSEE Domestic and International Standards Workshop in Houston, Texas in May 2015. OESI also supported BSEE by hosting a BAST Forum on November 12, 2015 in Houston, Texas. On May 5, 2017, OESI will host a second International and Domestic Standards workshop in support of BSEE, the theme for the event is Integrity Management. Their expertise assisted BSEE as we shared the BAST Determination draft process with industry stakeholders. BSEE has also engaged OESI to assist in the hosting of a forum on BSEE Technology Assessment. The event occurred in February 2017, in Houston. BSEE has recently solicited OESI assistance in hosting a phase 2 public forum on BAST with focus on Early Kick Detection (EKD) and Methane Gas Detection (MGD) in April 2017. OESI has also published a draft white paper to highlight potential application for real-time monitoring on drilling operations. OESI is conducting a presentation on this topic at a separate forum on April 17, 2017 in Houston. Through the work of Director of Operations of OESI and the Primary Investigator, there is now an established Advisory Committee in place. The latest AC meeting was held in January 2017; the next one is scheduled for April 25, 2017 which will be hosted by Weatherford, The AC is in place to further assist in establishing future directions of the Safety Institute. The Advisory Committee consists of stakeholders from the four representative group?s oil and gas, which are academia, industry, federal agencies and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO?s). Recent members to join the committee are from Department of Energy, United States Coast Guard and (NGO) Resources for the Future. OESI has conducted recent discussions with Louisiana State University (LSU), and hope they will joining the Advisory Committee very soon. They have presented a list of topics for possible forums for 2017, and await response from the AC on next steps. The last one conducted in 2016 focused on well control operations, and occurred in November. OESI has consistently produced an OESI annual report and made available to all stakeholders for review. Latest one was completed in October 2016. BSEE personnel conducted a site visit to OESI, and were presented the annual report draft in October 2016. OESI is conducting a third party assessment for the offshore training program for BSEE engineers. OESI will be conducting an overall assessment of engineer training by SME?s that specialize in education/learning and others in training requirements and technical development of engineers. BSEE is looking for assessment tools such as measures that can continue to assess the BSEE engineer training program and make adjustments for improvement where necessary. OESI has aggressively started to conduct task associated with this work, and held internal meetings with identified SME?s, in addition to conferences with BSEE management and the Chief of the Offshore Training Branch. Assessment is scheduled to be completed NLT 6 months from execution of modification. Within the scope of work associated with this report, OESI conducted a site visit to BSEE Lake Jackson District in November 2016. The final draft report should be available for review late March 2017, with final completion in April 2017. In the area of RTM, this scope of work includes a pilot training program, and then full implementation of RTM training and subject matter expertise in this area. The official kick off meeting for RTM took place on September 20, 2016 in Houston. BSEE and OESI representatives have been collaborating on the topic of RTM since the execution of the cooperative agreement modification in late July early August timeframe. The have produced a draft white paper on RTM that has been published and available to the public. OESI has been asked to produce a strawman framework on the implementation of RTM, that is under consideration by BSEE. OESI will be reviewing recommendations prepared by the National Academy of Science (NAS) and how RTM should be implemented as it pertains to best available and safest technologies (BAST). Latest monitoring report reflected task associated with year two of the BSEE Tech Challenge. Year one was a tremendous success, and recognized by the Secretary of DOI as well as the public. OESI is a partner with BSEE in conducting the youth initiative, and serves as the project manager. This event is in support of DOI?s Youth initiative. This year?s challenge will be expanded to allow students in the Gulf of Mexico and Pacific Region areas to participate. This event highlights the work of BSEE and provides the opportunity to engage and serve/impact the communities geographically located in our areas of responsibilities. OESI staff briefed BSEE Senior Management in December 2016, and obtained approval for the execution of tech challenge year two. Dates are 3 March,2017- University of Houston, March 31, 2017 ? University of Louisiana in Baton Rouge, 5 April 2017 in the Bakersfield California area, are the dates for the events. OESI has also been recognized by the oil and gas industry, and routinely sets on various panels, or attends meeting with companies as well as trade associations such as American Petroleum Institute (API) and the Offshore Operators Committee (OOC). Fiscal Year 2018: No Current Data Available.

Uses and Use Restrictions

The assistance can be used to conduct technical research to satisfy the information needs associated with oil and gas, alternate energy and marine animal development on the outer continental shelf.

Applications must be for technical research projects which are within the BSEE area of responsibility.

The majority of funds are used to support research that will enhance understanding of exploration and production techniques to enhance safe operations and oil-spill prevention and cleanup from oil and gas, marine minerals, and alternate energy development projects.

Funds can be also be used for attendance at national conferences for the dissemination of project results.

Funds are not normally used for capitalization.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

State agencies and public universities may apply.

More than one institution may collaborate in the preparation of an application for assistance.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Research scientists, Federal, State and local decision-makers, and the general public will ultimately benefit from the program.


Evidence of the applicant's qualifications for performance of the proposed research including past professional publications, resumes, and lists of past projects. 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Limited discussions regarding funding availability and program interest are permitted.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Applicants are encouraged to post their applications on The standard SF-424 application forms required by 2 CFR Part 215.12, and the Department of the Interior Code of Federal Regulations at 43 CFR Part 12 or its revisions, must be used.

Award Procedures

Awards are made on the basis of a competitive peer review of proposals by a panel consisting of government research managers and external reviewers, as appropriate. Criteria for judging proposals include mission relevance, technical merit, and the quality and appropriateness of the personnel, project management, logistics plan, safety management, permits and interagency coordination, budget/matching funds, and where appropriate, minimization of impacts. Notification of an award is issued. It is anticipated that one to ten applications will be received and one to six cooperative agreement awards will be granted in FY 2013 and FY2014.


Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.


43 U.S.C. 1345 (e); 43 U.S.C. 1346 Section 20.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

From 45 - 270 days.


Not Applicable.


Renewals can be made through submission and approval of a project agreement.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula. Matching Requirements: Cost sharing of 1:1 is encouraged; services in kind are encouraged. MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Cooperative agreements will normally be awarded for 1 to 5 years, with funding awarded as a lump sum, or added as funds become available. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Information not available.

Post Assistance Requirements


Quarterly reports; a draft final, proof copy, and final report; draft and final technical summary; articles based on the research published in journals, and presentation slides are required; also possibly a presentation at a BSEE public meeting.

Dissemination of the research results at a professional society meeting and symposia is encouraged.

Cash reports are not applicable.

Progress meetings and reports maybe required as applicable; additional requirements maybe identified in a specific Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA).

Annual financial reports using the Federal Financial Report SF-425 are also required.

Maybe determined unnecessary on a case by case basis.


In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503.


All records must be maintained for 3 years after submission of the final financial report.

Financial Information

Account Identification

14-1700-0-1-302 - EEEE200000.


(Cooperative Agreements) FY 16 $907,024; FY 17 est $501,000; and FY 18 est $0

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Range is $100,000 to $5,000,000; Average $350,000.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

The Offshore Regulatory Programs are described in 30 CFR 250, Oil and Gas and Sulphur Operations in the Outer Continental Shelf. Final reports are available online in the BSEE website at:

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office


Headquarters Office

Andre King 45600 Woodland Road Sterling, Virginia 20164 , Sterling, Virginia 20164 Email: Phone: (703) 787-1844 Fax: (703) 787-1555

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Panels of BSEE, and non-BSEE scientists/engineers (government, public and private sector as appropriate), review and evaluate proposals. Criteria for judging proposals include mission relevance, technical merit, and the quality and appropriateness of the personnel, including past performance and publication record, project management, logistics plan, safety management, permits and interagency coordination, budget/matching funds, and where appropriate, minimization of impacts. Additional evaluation criteria maybe posted in a specific Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) on

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