Senate Approves Transboundary Hydrocarbons Agreement Bill

on October 23, 2013 at 3:30 PM

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The Senate has unanimously approved a bill to implement the U.S.-Mexico Transboundary Hydrocarbons Agreement aimed to facilitate offshore drilling cooperation in the Gulf of Mexico.

On October 12, 2013, the Senate unanimously approved S. 812 to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to implement the 2012 U.S.-Mexico Transboundary Hydrocarbons Agreement. The agreement establishes a legal framework for offshore drilling at the Gulf of Mexico maritime border.  The Mexican Senate ratified the agreement two months after it was signed by the U.S. and Mexico in February 2012.  The agreement requires U.S. ratification before the February 2014 expiration date.


U.S.-Mexico Transboundary Hydrocarbon Agreement Counterproposal

The legislation authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to take necessary actions to implement the agreement, including approval of unitization agreements and arrangements for oil and gas development from transboundary reservoirs and geological structures.  It also approves disclosure of certain information related to oil and gas exploration, development, and production in the transboundary area.

The agreement would open more than one million acres on the Outer Continental Shelf for oil and gas development and facilitate common safety and environmental standards, ensuring that either country retains authority over activity in its waters.  Importantly, the agreement would provide the legal certainty required to encourage investment in new energy development.  On October 1, American Petroleum Institute provided testimony commending the legislation to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

The House version of the legislation (H.R. 1613), approved by the House on June 27, includes a provision for exemption from Resources Extraction Reporting Requirement under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

October 14, 2013 via Energy Solutions Forum

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