Minerals Management Service drilling chief to retire

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Posted: May 17, 2010 3:32 PM
Source: Associated Press

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Topics: Gulf of Mexico, Deepwater Horizon, Oil Spill, Interior Department, resignation

The fallout from the Gulf oil spill has claimed its first casualty at the Interior Department.

Chris Oynes, who oversees offshore drilling programs at the Minerals Management Service, will retire at the end of the month, according to an e-mail sent by an agency official to staff and obtained by The Associated Press. Oynes was regional director in charge of Gulf of Mexico offshore oil programs for 13 years before he was promoted in 2007 to associate director in charge of all
offshore activities.

Oynes has come under criticism for being too close to the industry the agency oversees. His departure comes as President Barack Obama has vowed to end a "cozy relationship" between the
MMS and industry.

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