Text: S.3509 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (06/17/2010)


111th CONGRESS
2d Session
S. 3509


To amend the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to promote the research and development of technologies and best practices for the safe development and extraction of natural gas and other petroleum resources, and for other purposes.


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

June 17, 2010

Mr. Udall of Colorado (for himself, Mrs. Shaheen, and Mr. Bingaman) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources


A BILL

To amend the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to promote the research and development of technologies and best practices for the safe development and extraction of natural gas and other petroleum resources, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Safer Oil and Gas Production Research and Development Act of 2010”.

SEC. 2. Program authority.

Section 999A of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. 16371) is amended—

(1) in subsection (a)—

(A) by striking “ultra-deepwater” and inserting “deepwater”; and

(B) by inserting “well control and accident prevention,” after “safe operations,”;

(2) in subsection (b)—

(A) by striking paragraph (1) and inserting the following:

“(1) Deepwater architecture, well control and accident prevention, and deepwater technology, including drilling to deep formations in waters greater than 500 feet.”; and

(B) by striking paragraph (4) and inserting the following:

“(4) Safety and environmental technology research and development for drilling activities aimed at well control and accident prevention performed by the Department.”; and

(3) in subsection (d)—

(A) in the subsection heading, by striking “National Energy Technology Laboratory” and inserting “Department”; and

(B) by striking “, through the National Energy Technology Laboratory,”.

SEC. 3. Safe oil and gas production accident prevention research and development program.

Section 999B of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. 16372) is amended—

(1) in the section heading, by striking “Ultra-deepwater and unconventional onshore natural gas and other petroleum” and inserting “Safe oil and gas production and accident prevention”;

(2) in subsection (a), by striking “to maximize” and all that follows through the period at the end and inserting “to ensure the safe and environmentally responsible production of natural gas and other petroleum resources of the United States.”;

(3) in subsection (c)(1)—

(A) by redesignating subparagraphs (D) and (E) as subparagraphs (E) and (F), respectively; and

(B) by inserting after subparagraph (C) the following:

“(D) select projects on a competitive, peer-reviewed basis.”; and

(4) in subsection (d)—

(A) in paragraph (6), by striking “ultra-deepwater” and inserting “deepwater”;

(B) by striking paragraph (7) and inserting the following:

“(7) FOCUS AREAS FOR AWARDS.—

“(A) DEEPWATER RESOURCES.—Awards from allocations under section 999H(d)(1) shall focus on the research, development, and demonstration of areas that include—

“(i) individual exploration and production technologies aimed at improving operational safety and reducing environmental impacts of exploration and production activities, including drilling, well integrity systems, well control, and blowout prevention;

“(ii) nontoxic materials for use in exploration and production activities; and

“(iii) integrated systems approach based management for exploration and production in deepwater.

“(B) UNCONVENTIONAL RESOURCES.—Awards from allocations under section 999H(d)(2) shall focus on research, development, and demonstration of areas that include—

“(i) advanced coalbed methane, deep drilling, natural gas production from tight sands, natural gas production from gas shales, stranded gas, innovative exploration and production techniques, and enhanced recovery techniques;

“(ii) nontoxic materials for use in exploration and production activities;

“(iii) safety and environmental mitigation in exploration and production activities; and

“(iv) accident prevention and environmental mitigation of unconventional natural gas and other petroleum resources exploration and production.

“(C) SMALL PRODUCERS.—Awards from allocations under section 999H(d)(3) shall be made to consortia consisting of small producers or organized primarily for the benefit of small producers, and shall focus on areas that include—

“(i) safety and accident prevention, environmental mitigation, well control and systems integrity, and complex geology involving rapid changes in the type and quality of the oil and gas reservoirs across the reservoir;

“(ii) low reservoir pressure, unconventional natural gas reservoirs in coalbeds, deep reservoirs, tight sands, or shales; and

“(iii) unconventional oil reservoirs in tar sands and oil shales.

“(D) SAFETY AND ACCIDENT PREVENTION TECHNOLOGY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT.—Awards from allocations under section 999H(d)(4) shall be expended on areas that include—

“(i) the development of improved cementing and casing technologies;

“(ii) the best management practices for cementing, casing, and other well control activities and technologies; and

“(iii) the development of integrity and stewardship guidelines for—

“(I) well-plugging and abandonment;

“(II) development of wellbore sealant technologies; and

“(III) improvement and standardization of blowout prevention devices.”; and

(C) by adding at the end the following:

“(8) STUDY; REPORT.—

“(A) STUDY.—As soon as practicable after the date of enactment of this paragraph, the Secretary shall enter into an arrangement with the National Academy of Sciences under which the Academy shall conduct a study to determine—

“(i) whether the benefits provided through each award under this subsection during calendar year 2011 have been maximized; and

“(ii) the new areas of research that could be carried out to meet the overall objectives of the program.

“(B) REPORT.—Not later than January 1, 2012, the Secretary shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report that contains a description of the results of the study conducted under subparagraph (A).

“(C) OPTIONAL UPDATES.—The Secretary may update the report described in subparagraph (B) for the 5-year period beginning on the date described in that subparagraph and each 5-year period thereafter.”;

(5) in subsection (e)—

(A) in paragraph (2)—

(i) in the second sentence of subparagraph (A), by inserting “to the Secretary for review” after “submit”; and

(ii) in the first sentence of subparagraph (B), by striking “Ultra-Deepwater” and all that follows through “and such Advisory Committees” and inserting “Program Advisory Committee established under section 999D(a), and the Advisory Committee”; and

(B) by adding at the end the following:

“(6) RESEARCH FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR IMPLEMENTATION.—The Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of the Interior and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, shall publish in the Federal Register an annual report on the research findings of the program carried out under this section and any recommendations for implementation that the Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of the Interior and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, determines to be necessary.”;

(6) in subsection (i)—

(A) in the subsection heading, by striking “United States Geological Survey” and inserting “Department of the Interior”; and

(B) by striking “, through the United States Geological Survey,”; and

(7) in the first sentence of subsection (j), by striking “National Energy Technology Laboratory, on behalf of the”.

SEC. 4. Additional requirements for awards.

Section 999C(b) of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. 16373(b)) is amended by striking “an ultra-deepwater technology or an ultra-deepwater architecture” and inserting “a deepwater technology”.

SEC. 5. Program Advisory Committee.

Section 999D of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. 16374) is amended to read as follows:

“SEC. 999D. Program Advisory Committee.

“(a) Establishment.—Not later than 270 days after the date of enactment of the Safer Oil and Gas Production Research and Development Act of 2010, the Secretary shall establish an advisory committee to be known as the ‘Program Advisory Committee’ (referred to in this section as the ‘Advisory Committee’).

“(b) Membership.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—The Advisory Committee shall be composed of members appointed by the Secretary, including—

“(A) individuals with extensive research experience or operational knowledge of hydrocarbon exploration and production;

“(B) individuals broadly representative of the affected interests in hydrocarbon production, including interests in environmental protection and safety operations;

“(C) representatives of Federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Interior;

“(D) State regulatory agency representatives; and

“(E) other individuals, as determined by the Secretary.

“(2) LIMITATIONS.—

“(A) IN GENERAL.—The Advisory Committee shall not include individuals who are board members, officers, or employees of the program consortium.

“(B) CATEGORICAL REPRESENTATION.—In appointing members of the Advisory Committee, the Secretary shall ensure that no class of individuals described in any of subparagraphs (A), (B), (D), or (E) of paragraph (1) comprises more than 13 of the membership of the Advisory Committee.

“(c) Subcommittees.—The Advisory Committee may establish subcommittees for separate research programs carried out under this subtitle.

“(d) Duties.—The Advisory Committee shall—

“(1) advise the Secretary on the development and implementation of programs under this subtitle; and

“(2) carry out section 999B(e)(2)(B).

“(e) Compensation.—A member of the Advisory Committee shall serve without compensation but shall be entitled to receive travel expenses in accordance with subchapter I of chapter 57 of title 5, United States Code.

“(f) Prohibition.—The Advisory Committee shall not make recommendations on funding awards to particular consortia or other entities, or for specific projects.”.

SEC. 6. Definitions.

Section 999G of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. 16377) is amended—

(1) in paragraph (1), by striking “200 but less than 1,500 meters” and inserting “500 feet”;

(2) by striking paragraphs (8), (9), and (10);

(3) by redesignating paragraphs (2) through (7) and (11) as paragraphs (4) through (9) and (10), respectively;

(4) by inserting after paragraph (1) the following:

“(2) DEEPWATER ARCHITECTURE.—The term ‘deepwater architecture’ means the integration of technologies for the exploration for, or production of, natural gas or other petroleum resources located at deepwater depths.

“(3) DEEPWATER TECHNOLOGY.—The term ‘deepwater technology’ means a discrete technology that is specially suited to address 1 or more challenges associated with the exploration for, or production of, natural gas or other petroleum resources located at deepwater depths.”; and

(5) in paragraph (10) (as redesignated by paragraph (3)), by striking “in an economically inaccessible geological formation, including resources of small producers”.

SEC. 7. Funding.

Section 999H of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. 16378) is amended—

(1) in the first sentence of subsection (a) by striking “Ultra-Deepwater and Unconventional Natural Gas and Other Petroleum Research Fund” and inserting “Safe Oil and Gas Production and Accident Prevention Research Fund”;

(2) in subsection (d)—

(A) in paragraph (1), by striking “35 percent” and inserting “21.5 percent”;

(B) in paragraph (2), by striking “32.5 percent” and inserting “21 percent”; and

(C) in paragraph (4)—

(i) by striking “25 percent” and inserting “50 percent”;

(ii) by striking “complementary research” and inserting “safety technology research and development”; and

(iii) by striking “contract management,” and all that follows through the period at the end and inserting “and contract management.”; and

(3) in subsection (f), by striking “Ultra-Deepwater and Unconventional Natural Gas and Other Petroleum Research Fund” and inserting “Safe and Responsible Energy Production Research Fund”.

SEC. 8. Conforming amendment.

Subtitle J of title IX of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. 16371 et seq.) is amended by striking the subtitle heading and inserting “Safe Oil and Gas Production and Accident Prevention Program”.