I have had a lot of questions regarding the Gulf disaster, mainly who owns the Gulf of Mexico, and here’s a few bullet points I have been able to come up with.
*The adjoining state has 3 miles out.
*The U. S. Government has the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) out about 200 miles.
*The oil rig in question was about 40 miles out.
*BP is leasing from the United States government the right to drill in this particular section of the Gulf of Mexico.
*The Mineral Management Service (MMS) is under the Department of the Interior and handles the entire leasing process. The Secretary of the Department of Interior, Ken Salazar, is appointed by and serves directly under the president of the U. S., Barack Obama.
*When a high bid is accepted by MMS, the submitter receives the official lease forms prepared by the MMS for execution. They, the leasee, must immediately pay 4/5 of “bonus” amount.
*Some of the funds collected under a lease goes directly to MMS and the rest directly into the U. S. Treasury, so to pretend the government is not involved in this up their neck is ridiculous.
*OCS leases are subject to income tax.
*One commenter said that the revenue from these leases is second only to the income tax. (See comment section for the quote)
*The entire Gulf of Mexico is broken up into many segments, subject to lease.
*BP has a lease on at least the one where the rig was that is involved here.
*The North Sea oil rig was operated by Transocean, a Swiss based drilling contractor, and leased by BP, an entirely separate thing from the lease to drill.
Who owns the Gulf of Mexico? The federal government. But I still have at least one question I want to find the answer to and that is who owns the oil that comes from the well?
In April, 2009, the U. S. exempted BP’s drilling from environmental impact study: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/04/AR2010050404118.html
BP’s lease: http://www.gomr.mms.gov/PDFs/2007/2007-059.pdf
Details on how MMS operates: http://www.mms.gov/ld/PDFs/GreenBook-LeasingDocument.pdf
Posted: 06.13.10 Updated: Links below added 06.14.10 @9:12 a.m.
Live links to gusher – Day 56: