API Enhances Offshore Safety Standard
The American Petroleum Institute (API) released its newest valve standard as part of the industry’s continuous efforts to improve operational safety and environmental protection.According to a release from the agency, the “Specification 6A” governs the design and operations of the critical safety valves at wells used in the offshore and onshore oil and gas industry. The latest edition includes new automatic closure requirements, to ensure additional protection for workers and…
U.S. East Coast Ports Await Yet Another Storm
Hurricane Michael, now a Category 4 storm, will be the second hurricane in two months to significantly affect ports on the U.S. eastern seaboard. Eastern North Carolina in particular is only now recovering from Florence.The U.S. Coast Guard has set conditions X-Ray for ports in Georgia and South Carolina in preparation for Hurricane Michael. The storm is now expected to make landfall by Wednesday afternoon. While gale force winds are expected within the next 48 hours, these ports can remain open to commercial traffic.
Maritime Accidents & Confidential near-miss Reporting
As in most if not all industries, the maritime sector experiences many more near-misses than actual casualties. And yet, information regarding near-misses is seldom shared outside the particular company or vessel/facility involved. This is a needless waste of valuable learning opportunities.The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) established the first formal confidential near-miss reporting system in the federal government in 1975. The Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) was transferred in 1976 to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for collection of information…
US Gulf Oil Output Takes a Hit from Storm
Tropical Storm Gordon forced a cut of 9.36 percent of crude oil production in U.S.-regulated areas of the Gulf of Mexico, slightly more than Tuesday, the U.S.
New Oil Spill Tech Solutions Put to the Test
No two oil spill response operations are the same. Each can present new and even tougher challenges for spill responders as they detect, contain and recover spilled oil. Diverse aspects affecting oil spill response operations can be the physical environment, spill monitoring, use of chemical dispersants, and the availability of proper technology for the situation.Some challenges have been met through research and technology development of techniques for dealing with spills. However…
BSEE Regs Update to Cut Burden on Operators
The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) – incorporating industry innovation, best science, and best practices – is proposing to update regulations covering offshore oil and gas drilling operations to improve reliability, safety, efficiency, and environmental stewardship, and reduce unnecessary burdens on operators. BSEE reviewed the existing regulations in response to Executive and Secretary’s Orders instructing it to identify ways to reduce unnecessary regulatory…
BSEE Inspects New Shell Appomattox Platform
As Shell finishes construction on its Appomattox Semi-Submersible Platform hull, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement engineers and inspectors signed off on several topsides components during a pre-production inspection March 27, 2018. Royal Dutch Shell plc, 79 percent owner and its partner, Nexen Petroleum Offshore U.S. A. Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of CNOOC ltd, will operate the platform about 80 miles off Louisiana’s coast in the Mississippi Canyon. “The Appomattox will be Shell’s largest floating platform in the Gulf of Mexico…
BSEE Launches Risk-Based Inspection Program
The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) this week announced the implementation of a new Risk-Based Inspection Program that employs a systematic framework to identify facilities and operations that exhibit a high-risk profile. The risk-based inspections supplement BSEE’s existing National Safety Inspection Program. The OCS Lands Act authorizes BSEE to conduct annual scheduled inspections and periodic unannounced inspections of all oil and gas operations. The new…
BSEE: Report on Subsea Bolting Technology Released
In an effort to address a recurring problem with faulty connectors in critical safety equipment, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) commissioned a National Academy of Engineering study on the matter in September 2016. After 18 months of study, the report entitled “High-Performance Bolting Technology for Offshore Oil and Natural Gas Operations” was published Friday. BSEE sponsored this study to leverage the resources of the National Materials and Manufacturing Board of the National Academies of Sciences…
BSEE Responds to Oil Platform Fatality in the GOM
The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement is conducting an investigation into the fatality of a platform worker in an area of the Gulf of Mexico known as West Cameron 215A, about 64 miles south of Lake Charles, Louisiana. The offshore oil and gas operator, Energy Resource Technology GOM, LLC, a subsidiary of Talos Production LLC, reported that the fatality occurred at approximately 10:30 am on Feb. 17, 2018. The deceased worker was involved in replacing firewater piping at the time of the incident. No other personnel were harmed. There was no pollution as a result of the incident.
Trump Proposes $200 Mln Budget for BSEE
President Donald Trump today proposed a $199.9 million Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 budget for the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) as the Administration aims to support a ramp up in domestic oil and gas production. The FY 2019 budget request includes an estimate of $67.9 million in offsetting collections. Offsetting collections includes $20.3 million for rental receipts, $3.8 million for cost recoveries and $43.8 million for inspection fees. “The President’s proposed…
BSEE Proposes to Ease Offshore Drilling Safety Rules
In response to a Presidential Order to reduce undue burden on industry, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) completed a comprehensive review of the Production Safety Systems regulations. The proposed regulations will be published Friday in the Federal Register. The announcement describes the proposed revisions and invites public comment on the proposal. “I am confident that this revision of the Production Safety Systems Rule moves us forward toward meeting the Administration’s goal of achieving energy dominance without sacrificing safety,” said Director Scott A. Angelle.
70+ pct of U.S. GoM Output Offline Ahead of Nate
About 71 percent of U.S. Gulf of Mexico oil production is offline ahead of Tropical Storm Nate, the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) said on Friday. Nate is forecast to enter the Gulf and strengthen into a hurricane before making landfall late Saturday in Louisiana, near several major refineries. Oil companies have evacuated staff from Gulf platforms and curtailed output ahead of the storm, with production equaling 1.24 million barrels of crude per day already offline, according to BSEE.
Op/Ed: ASTRO Act Shoots For the Stars
National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) president Randall Luthi weighs in after the House Natural Resources Committee held a hearing on offshore development and introduced the Accessing Strategy Resources Offshore (ASTRO) Act. Today’s hearing was a slam dunk by the House Natural Resources Committee. Not only did the Committee bring in experts and stakeholders with their own unique offshore perspectives to the hearing, the Committee took a bold step in introducing the forward thinking ASTRO Act.
About 13% US Gulf Oil Output Offline Due to Hurricane Nate
About 13 percent of U.S. Gulf of Mexico oil production remains offline in the aftermath of Hurricane Nate, the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) said on Friday. That equals about 220,000 barrels per day in production that is offline, according to BSEE. Oil companies evacuated staff from Gulf platforms and curtailed output ahead of the storm, which hit the region last weekend. About 7 percent of U.S. Gulf natural gas production remains offline, BSEE said. (Reporting by Rod Nickel in Houston; Editing by James Dalgleish)
Arctic Research Explores the ‘Roomba’ Approach
The pace and quality of oil spill research in the United States typically ebbs and flows as a function of two, if not three important variables. First, after the 1989 Exxon Valdez grounding, there was a flurry of activity to ramp up oil spill research because it had been dormant for so long. The need was recognized, with plenty of money made available. Primarily, this research centered on conventional spill remediation techniques – for example, a tanker or barge spilling oil – and not much else. Predictably, when memory of the spill faded, so did interest in research and funding followed.
A Turning Point in Oil Spill Recovery
Cleaning up marine oil spills can be a challenge as there are various types of oil spilled but only a few effective recovery methods. The three main technologies for oil spill recovery for inland and offshore waters are mechanical, insitu burning (ISB), and dispersant application. Absorbent booms and pads may also be used, but they are more effective for small fuel spills. Mechanical recovery, usually an oil skimmer, is a device that skims contained floating oil and transfers the recovered oil to a storage container or vessel.
BSEE, USCG Investigating GoM Rig Fatality
The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) and U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) are investigating the fatality of a worker on board the Petrobras 10,000 drillship in the Gulf of Mexico. Petrobras America Inc. reported the fatality on board the Transocean Ltd. owned drillship at about 4:45 a.m., December 2, 2017. The rig was in an area of the Gulf known as Walker Ridge 469, about 172 miles south of Port Fourchon, La. The deceased worked for Spencer Ogden Ltd. and was participating in pipe handling operations at the time of his injury.
Oil Workers Sue Shell over GoM Platform Fire
Three offshore oil workers filed a lawsuit against units of Royal Dutch Shell and Enbridge, seeking $1 million in damages for injuries they allegedly received during a Nov. 8 fire on a U.S. Gulf of Mexico production platform. The suit, filed in Galveston County court in Texas on Dec. 5, claims safety lapses on Shell's Enchilada platform caused severe injuries to the three. The complaint seeks more than $1 million in damages from Shell International Exploration and Production, Shell Offshore…
BSEE Proposes Softening of Offshore Drilling Rules - WSJ
A U.S. regulator has proposed rolling back safety measures put in place after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which would reduce the role of government in offshore oil production, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday. The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), which regulates offshore oil and gas drilling, proposes relaxing requirements to stream real-time data on oil production operators to facilities onshore, where they are available for review by regulators, the Journal reported.
What Hurricanes Teach Us About Energy Security
After a few years of relative calm, the 2017 hurricane season wreaked havoc in the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico, causing widespread damage and human suffering, and exposing the vulnerabilities and strengths of American energy security. As the flood waters from Hurricane Harvey receded and Gulf coast residents embarked on the arduous road to recovery, the offshore energy industry took stock and counted its losses and blessings. Offshore energy facilities faired remarkably well compared to onshore energy facilities, many of which suffered catastrophic damage from flood waters.
Eni Begins Drilling Oil Well in Alaska's Beaufort Sea
Italian oil producer Eni this week began drilling a new well in U.S. waters off the north coast of Alaska, becoming the first company to do so since 2015, federal regulators said on Wednesday. The oil and gas firm is working from an artificial island in the Beaufort Sea about three miles off Oliktok Point in the Arctic Ocean. The well is expected to run more than 6 miles (10 km) long. The project could result in 20,000 barrels a day of oil production, according to regulator U.S.
BSEE Oversees Spudding of New Oil Well in Arctic
Italian oil producer Eni began drilling the new well off the north coast of Alaska, becoming the first company to do so since 2015, reports Reuters. "New oil exploration in Arctic federal waters is underway this week with the spudding of a new oil well from an existing man-made island in the Beaufort Sea. Two Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) personnel were on-hand Monday ensuring compliance with approved permits, federal regulations and safety standards as Eni U.S.