United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Aug 15, 2022

§ 1356b.
Transboundary hydrocarbon agreements

After December 26, 2013, the Secretary may implement the terms of any transboundary hydrocarbon agreement for the management of transboundary hydrocarbon reservoirs entered into by the President and approved by Congress. In implementing such an agreement, the Secretary shall protect the interests of the United States to promote domestic job creation and ensure the expeditious and orderly development and conservation of domestic mineral resources in accordance with all applicable United States laws governing the exploration, development, and production of hydrocarbon resources on the Outer Continental Shelf.

Submission to Congress
In general
No later than 180 days after all parties to a transboundary hydrocarbon agreement have agreed to its terms, a transboundary hydrocarbon agreement that does not constitute a treaty in the judgment of the President shall be submitted by the Secretary to—
the Speaker of the House of Representatives;
the Majority Leader of the Senate;
the Chair of the Committee on Natural Resources of the House of Representatives; and
the Chair of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate.
Contents of submission
The submission shall include—
any amendments to this subchapter or other Federal law necessary to implement the agreement;
an analysis of the economic impacts such agreement and any amendments necessitated by the agreement will have on domestic exploration, development, and production of hydrocarbon resources on the Outer Continental Shelf; and
a detailed description of any regulations expected to be issued by the Secretary to implement the agreement.
Implementation of specific transboundary agreement with Mexico
The Secretary may take actions as necessary to implement the terms of the Agreement between the United States of America and the United Mexican States Concerning Transboundary Hydrocarbon Reservoirs in the Gulf of Mexico, signed at Los Cabos, February 20, 2012, including—
approving unitization agreements and related arrangements for the exploration, development, or production of oil and natural gas from transboundary reservoirs or geological structures;
making available, in the limited manner necessary under the agreement and subject to the protections of confidentiality provided by the agreement, information relating to the exploration, development, and production of oil and natural gas from a transboundary reservoir or geological structure that may be considered confidential, privileged, or proprietary information under law;
taking actions consistent with an expert determination under the agreement; and
ensuring only appropriate inspection staff at the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement or other Federal agency personnel designated by the Bureau, the operator, or the lessee have authority to stop work on any installation or other device or vessel permanently or temporarily attached to the seabed of the United States that may be erected thereon for the purpose of resource exploration, development or production activities as approved by the Secretary.
Savings provisions
Nothing in this section shall be construed—
to authorize the Secretary to participate in any negotiations, conferences, or consultations with Cuba regarding exploration, development, or production of hydrocarbon resources in the Gulf of Mexico along the United States maritime border with Cuba or the area known by the Department of the Interior as the “Eastern Gap”; or
as affecting the sovereign rights and the jurisdiction that the United States has under international law over the Outer Continental Shelf that appertains to it.
(Aug. 7, 1953, ch. 345, § 32, as added Pub. L. 113–67, div. A, title III, § 304, Dec. 26, 2013, 127 Stat. 1182.)
cite as: 43 USC 1356b