Proposed use of floating production, storage, and offloading systems on the Gulf of Mexico outer continental shelf: Western and Central Planning Areas: final environmental impact statement
Minerals Management Service, Gulf of Mexico OCS Region
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The United States Department of Interior (DOI) Minerals Management Service (MMS) has prepared this Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) to evaluate potential environmental effects of the proposed use of Floating Production, Storage, and Offloading (FPSO) Systems in the deepwater portions (i.e., in areas >650 feet [200 meters] in depth) of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) in the Central and Western Planning Areas of the Gulf of Mexico (GOM)... This Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is a programmatic document to examine the concept of, and fundamental issues associated with the petroleum industry's proposed use of FPSOs on te OCS of the GOM. Therefore, this EIS addresses the proposed action generically and does not constitute a review of any site-specific development proposal. In addition, the EIS addresses only the NEPA review process: subsequent site-specific FPSO proposals would be subject to established MMS and United States Coast Guard (Coast Guard) review and decision processes (addressing engineering, oil spill, air quality, water quality, and site-specific documentation under NEPA); U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) water quality permitting; and any applicable review by states for coastal zone consistency. The proposed use of FPSOs on the GOM OCS would provide industry with a deepwater production and transportation option in lease areas that are beyond the reach of current oil pipeline infrastructure and possibly technically and/or economically beyond the reach of existing means for extending oil pipeline infrastructure into these lease areas. Offshore leases in areas that present technological and/or economic barriers to development (e.g., great distances from existing infrastructure, extreme depth, highly irregular ocean bottom terrain, fields with marginal production potential, etc.) could potentially become viable candidates for development with the use of FPSOs.