‘Understaffed’ Federal Agency Devises New Regulations for Offshore Drilling

Tina Korbe /

The director of the federal agency responsible for the drilling permit logjam in the Gulf of Mexico has said his agency is too understaffed to address the slowdown in permits — but he now plans to divert his already limited staff resources to the additional regulation of oilfield service providers and contractors.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement exists primarily to regulate oil and gas companies — but Director Michael Bromwich insists he has the legal authority to regulate drilling rig suppliers and other contractors as well.

“We have completed our review of the issue and have concluded that in fact we have broad legal authority over all activities relating to offshore leases,” Bromwich said earlier this month at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston. (more…)