Agencies Turn Focus to Offshore Energy Safety, Sustainability


The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) have issued a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) for up to $40 million over a five-year period for the operation and maintenance of the Ocean Energy Safety Institute (OESI) to support additional improvements in safety and environmental sustainability in offshore energy exploration and production.  

“Our nation’s energy, economic and national security rely on our all-of-the-above approach to producing safe, reliable and resilient energy,” says Deputy Secretary of Energy Mark W. Menezes. “Through federal collaboration and a cross-sector approach, we can increase support for offshore energy production while protecting our workers and the marine environment.”  

BSEE staff implemented about 110 new environmental and 130 new safety initiatives to equip itself with strong, smart and durable processes and programs. Some of the results include:

-Zero incidental marine mammal or sea turtle fatalities from Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) exploration and production activities since at least 2017
-Steady decline in total recordable incidents/illness rates for offshore workers
-2019 offshore supported 275,000 total domestic jobs and $60 billion in total economic contributions to the U.S.

OESI was originally envisioned as an entity that would facilitate research and development on, and implementation of, operational improvements in the areas of offshore safety and environmental protection. Through a five-year project agreement, the agencies will jointly support a program of R&D related to natural gas, wind and marine hydrokinetic energy production – with a focus on safety, environmental monitoring and operational improvements.

The recipient institution receiving the award will be responsible for managing OESI, providing input on yearly objectives and conducting certain work to further the attainment of those objectives.  

For more information on the funding opportunity, click here.

A link to the full FOA can be found here.

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