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Preparation of an Environmental Assessment for Kerr-McGee's Proposed Deepwater Development Plan Offshore Texas (Boomvang Project)

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Minerals Management Service, Interior.


Preparation of an environmental assessment.


The Minerals Management Service (MMS) is preparing an environmental assessment (EA) for a proposed deepwater development plan to develop and produce hydrocarbon reserves about 114 miles offshore Texas in East Breaks, Blocks 642, 643, and 688.

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Minerals Management Service, Gulf of Mexico OCS Region, 1201 Elmwood Park Boulevard, New Orleans, Louisiana 70123-2394, Mr. Alvin Jones, telephone (504) 736-1713.

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This EA implements the tiering process outlined in 40 CFR 1502.20, which encourages agencies to tier environmental documents, eliminating repetitive discussions of the same issue. By use of reference to the most recent Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Gulf of Mexico Western Planning Area for Lease Sales 171, 174, 177, and 180 and by tiering to related environmental documents, this EA concentrates on environmental issues specific to the proposed action.

The MMS Gulf of Mexico Region received an Initial Development Operations Coordination Document (DOCD) from Kerr-McGee Oil and Gas Corporation (Kerr-McGee) that proposes to develop and produce hydrocarbon reserves located in East Breaks, Blocks 642, 643, and 688. The DOCD was assigned a plan control number of N-7077, and the project is referred to as the Boomvang Project. Kerr-McGee will complete and produce a total of 10 wells that were drilled under previously-approved Exploration Plans for the subject blocks. No new drilling operations are proposed as a part of this DOCD. All of the wells will share a common surface location (a truss spar floating production system) in East Breaks, Block 643.

The Boomvang truss spar is a manned floating production facility that will be permanently anchored on location by a 9-leg, taut catenary system composed of conventional wire, chain, and anchor piles. The hull portion of the spar Start Printed Page 23727measures approximately 90 feet in diameter and has an overall length of 543 feet. No hydrocarbons will be stored in the hull of the spar. The spar is not drilling rig capable; however, a 1,000-hp completion/workover platform rig will be installed and used for the initial completion operations. If any additional drilling would be necessary, a mobile offshore drilling unit (MODU) would be utilized. The spar will have a 20-person permanent accommodation unit installed. Temporary, portable quarters for up to 48 people may be provided.

The water depth at the truss spar location is approximately 3,457 feet. The project will use an existing onshore support base in Sabine Pass, Texas, to support the production activities. During completion or workover operations, either the onshore base in Sabine Pass, Texas, or an existing onshore base in Galveston, Texas, will be used to support these activities.

Oil and gas produced at the Boomvang project will be transported off lease by third-party owned and operated right-of-way pipelines.

The proposed action analyzed in the EA will be the development plan as proposed by Kerr-McGee. Alternatives will include the proposed action with additional mitigations and no action (i.e., disapproval of the plan). The analyses in the EA will examine the potential environmental effects of the proposal and alternatives.

Public Comments

MMS requests interested parties to submit comments regarding issues that should be addressed in the EA to Minerals Management Service, Gulf of Mexico OCS Region, Office of Leasing and Environment, Attention: Regional Supervisor (MS 5410), 1201 Elmwood Park Boulevard, New Orleans, Louisiana 70123-2394. Comments must be submitted no later than 30 days from the publication of this Notice.

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Dated: April 26, 2001.

Chris C. Oynes,

Regional Director, Gulf of Mexico OCS Region.

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[FR Doc. 01-11582 Filed 5-8-01; 8:45 am]