Agency is considering lower royalties; most GoM facilities are producing at less than 25% capacity.
BP and Delek Group-owned Ithaca Energy have started oil and gas production at the Vorlich field in Britain's central North Sea, the companies said on Thursday.
The U.S. government is considering changes to policies for oil companies operating in the offshore Gulf of Mexico that might allow existing platforms to lengthen extensions to remote wells.
Offshore oil and gas drillers and lawmakers representing U.S. Gulf Coast states lobbied aggressively for broad cuts to the rate companies must pay on their operations.
Egypt said on Dec. 29 that it awarded oil and gas exploration concessions in the Red Sea to Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell and Mubadala in an international tender.
Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio has placed a hold on the Senate confirmation of President Donald Trump's pick to become the deputy secretary of the Interior Department, Katharine MacGregor, over concerns about the agency's plans to expand offshore drilling, his office said on Dec. 4.
Neither are likely to gain much traction in the Senate.
A Chinese survey vessel on Saturday extended its activities to an area closer to Vietnam's coastline, ship tracking data showed, after the United States and Australia expressed concern about China's actions in the disputed waterways.