The Gulf Research Program (GRP) is an independent, science-based program that was founded in 2013. The GRP is housed within the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine—a private, nonprofit organization with a 150-year history as an independent adviser to the nation on issues of science, engineering, and medicine. Through grants, fellowships, and other activities, the GRP seeks to enhance oil system safety and the protection of human health and the environment in the Gulf of Mexico region and other areas along the U.S. outer continental shelf with offshore oil and gas operations. During its 30-year duration (2013–2043), the GRP will seek to improve understanding of the region’s interconnecting human, environmental, and energy systems and foster the application of these insights to benefit Gulf communities, ecosystems, and the nation.
The GRP’s origins can be traced to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon tragedy and its many human and ecosystem impacts. As part of agreements resolving the criminal charges against BP Exploration and Production Inc. and Transocean Deepwater Inc., the National Academy of Sciences is receiving $500 million (see Table 1). The agreements ensure the GRP’s independence in allocating funds to achieve its priorities. BP Exploration and Production Inc. and Transocean Deepwater Inc. play no role in the GRP’s decision making.
This annual report summarizes how the GRP funds were used in 2016 and highlights some of the program’s key activities and accomplishments.
TABLE 1 Funding Schedule
|Year||BP Exploration and Production Inc.||Transocean Deepwater Inc.||Total Funds Received by the National Academy of Sciences|
|2013||$5 million||$2 million||$7 million|
|2014||$15 million||$7 million||$29 million|
|2015||$45 million||$21 million||$95 million|
|2016||$80 million||$60 million||$235 million|
|2017||$90 million||$60 million||$385 million|
|2018||$115 million||$500 million|