This paper will discuss the technical and operational need for regulatory "equivalency" in the emerging Arctic offshore oil and gas industry to address technological innovation, especially in the area of Same Season Relief Well (SSRW) capability. The authors will provide an overview of both the technical and legal framework around which emerging technologies can be evaluated and accommodated in the regulatory approval process. With the rapid pace of technology development continuing unabated, regulatory flexibility is required to ensure that regulations keeps pace with innovation.

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