The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement’s (BSEE) concluded a two-day workshop that brought together experts from the oil and gas industry, and drilling and supply contractors to share information and insights on the effects of water depth on oil and gas operations. This type of information sharing was recommended by the Interior Department’s Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Safety Oversight Board in its September 2010 Report.
“It is critical that we obtain input from industry experts about the range of unique challenges presented by operating in deep water,” said BSEE Director Michael R. Bromwich. “We will continue to follow-up on the insights and recommendations raised at this week’s discussion so that we can better meet the special challenges of deepwater, and ensure that oil and gas in deep water is explored and developed in the most safe and environmentally responsible manner.”
The workshop drew approximately 140 people including oil and gas operators, drilling contractors, service and supply contractors, and BSEE personnel. Attendees focused on six areas of deepwater operations: well control with surface blowout preventers; well control with subsea blowout preventers; well drilling and completion design and barriers; pre-incident planning, preparedness and response; post-incident containment and well control; and risk assessment of critical operations and activities.
Findings and recommendations from the workshop will be used by BSEE in enhancing existing regulations and developing new regulations as necessary. In response to the Deepwater Horizon explosion and resulting oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the Obama Administration launched the most aggressive and comprehensive reforms to offshore oil and gas regulation and oversight in U.S. history. These reforms strengthen requirements for everything from well design and workplace safety to corporate accountability, helping to ensure that the United States can safely and responsibly expand development of its energy resources. For more information on regulatory reforms: http://www.bsee.gov/About-BSEE/Reforms/Reforms.aspx.
The OCS Safety Oversight Board report is available at: http://www.doi.gov/news/pressreleases/Salazar-OCS-Safety-Board-Report-a-Blueprint-for-Next-Steps-on-Internal-Reforms-of-Offshore-Energy-Oversight.cfm