ABS has signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the U.S. Department of the Interior's Minerals Management Service (MMS) that
establishes a formal framework for scientific and technical collaboration between the two organizations with respect to offshore oil and gas
The agreement represents formal recognition by the MMS of the technical expertise of ABS in design review
and survey of offshore facilities to
verify compliance with applicable regulatory requirements. Under the MOA, ABS and the MMS will jointly support the development of appropriate technical standards as well as associated research targeted toward
improving the safety, pollution prevention and operational efficiency of offshore oil and gas facilities.
This formal agreement is an outgrowth of the longstanding relationship between ABS and MMS. For example, ABS authored the technical requirements for the MMS Platform Verification Program in 1979. This applies to offshore oil and gas production and drilling platforms working on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf. Additionally, ABS has provided on-going counsel
and guidance to both the MMS and the offshore industry through
years of participation in joint industry programs and other activities aimed at
helping the offshore community meet the many technical and safety challenges associated with deepwater developments.
At a ceremony in Washington, D.C., today ABS President and Chief Operating Officer Robert D. Somerville and MMS Deputy Director Walter D. Cruickshank, Ph.D., signed the landmark memorandum.
"The missions of ABS and MMS are synonymous in that all our efforts are focused on improving safety of life at sea and protecting the natural
environment," said Somerville. "This agreement with MMS will extend and formalize the good working relationship that has long existed between our two organizations and allow us to contribute more fully to the research and
application of new standards that
offer appropriate environmental protection and risk mitigation criteria for offshore exploration and
production," he added.