On June 4, 2013, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) announced their execution of a Memorandum of Agreement allocating their joint responsibilities over the regulation of mobile offshore drilling units (MODUs) operating in U.S. waters. Generally, the Coast Guard has primary responsibility for MODUs regardless of their activities because they are considered "vessels," while BSEE becomes jointly responsible when the MODU is attached to seabed to engage in drilling-related activity. The MOA updates a more general September 30, 2004 MOA between the Minerals Management Service (BSEE's predecessor) and the Coast Guard. The newly issued MOA, like the 2004 MOA, indicates which agency takes the lead with regard to each MODU system and sub-system. The recent MOA adds substantial detail regarding sub-systems, but generally does not change the allocation of responsibilities as between the Coast Guard and BSEE.

This entry has been created for information and planning purposes. It is not intended to be, nor should it be, substituted for legal advice, which turns on specific facts.