This Week's Top Stories
The top stories this week covered everything from a DP system failure, a facelift for a WWII torpedo boat, and some mysterious tankers off the coast of Philadelphia. The tanker Olympic Flag was carrying 650,000 barrels of Angolan crude when it dropped anchor seven miles off the coast of Delaware Bay last November. It finally left two weeks ago, but not before being joined by five other tankers. Nobody seems to know why the tankers were idling offshore that long, although experts gave a few theories (spoiler alert: none of the theories involved aliens).
Coast Guard, BSEE to Share Offshore Safety Duties
U.S. Coast Guard ond Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement sign agreement to improve offshore oversight. U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral Joseph Servidio, Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy and Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) Director James Watson and announced today at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, Texas a new Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that will strengthen the working relationship between the two agencies on the management of safety and environmental protection responsibilities on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).
BOEMRE Seeking First-Time Environmental Enforcement Officer and Chief of Regulations
WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) today announced it is seeking to fill two key positions for the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), one of the two new bureaus that will start operating on Oct. 1, 2011, as part of the reorganization of the former Minerals Management Service (MMS). The positions to be filled are a first-ever Environmental Enforcement Officer and the Regulations Development Branch Supervisor.
DNV Gets US Offshore SEMS Auditing Approval
DNV Business Assurance receives approval to begin Safety and Environmental Management Systems (SEMS) audits of oil and gas drilling operators in the Gulf of Mexico & US Outer Continental Shelf. SEMS is the Safety and Environmental Management Systems program developed by the Center for Offshore Safety (COS) and made mandatory in 2011 by the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement. Initially established as a set of industry best practices, SEMS compliance must be verified by a third-party auditor, such as DNV. Non-compliant operators risk losing their exploration and drilling privileges in governed waters. DNV was recently notified by COS of its provisional accreditation for SEMS auditing…
BOEMRE to Hire Regional Leadership for New Bureau
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) today announced its search to fill two senior leadership positions for the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), one of the two new bureaus being created as part of the reorganization of the former Minerals Management Service. The positions to be filled are the Regional Directors for the Pacific Region and Alaska Region offices, located in Camarillo, Calif., and Anchorage, Alaska, respectively. "The people occupying these senior positions will have the responsibility for managing and directing all regulatory and enforcement programs related to safe and environmentally sound offshore energy development," said BOEMRE Director Michael R. Bromwich.
BOEMRE Seeking Senior Executives for New Bureaus
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) is seeking to fill five senior executive positions for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), the two new bureaus that will replace the former Minerals Management Service (MMS). “The positions we are announcing today will be critical to the smooth and effective functioning of the two new bureaus,” said BOEMRE Director Michael R. Bromwich. The positions will be filled over the next several months, so that the executive leadership teams for both BOEM and BSEE will be in place to ensure a smooth transition when the bureaus commence separate operations on Oct. 1, 2011.
BOEMRE Seeking Accident Investigation Board Chief
WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) today announced it is seeking to fill a senior position in the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), one of the two agencies that will replace the former Minerals Management Service on Oct. 1, 2011. The position is being filled now to ensure a smooth transition. This position will serve as the Chief of the Accident Investigation Board, and will be located in the bureau’s office in Herndon, Va.
Angelle Named BSEE Director
Former Louisiana state official Scott A. Angelle will head-up the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE). Angelle, who most recently served as Vice Chairman of the Louisiana Public Service Commission, will assume his new position May 23. “Scott Angelle brings a wealth of experience to BSEE, having spent many years working for the safe and efficient energy production of both Louisiana’s and our country’s offshore resources,” Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke said.
NOIA Applauds Selection of Next BSEE Director
“I applaud Secretary Jewell’s selection of Vice Admiral Brian Salerno as Director of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement. Like his predecessor, Vice Admiral Salerno comes with a solid background in offshore issues. NOIA trusts he will continue Admiral Watson’s record of fair oversight as we strive to maintain the highest levels of offshore safety while producing the energy so vital to the nation’s economic health.
Cindy's Remnants Drench Gulf Coast, Wreaking Havok
The remnants of Tropical Storm Cindy brought tornadoes and flooding to the U.S. Gulf Coast on Thursday and its heavy rains will drench much of the eastern United States in coming days, forecasters said. Flooding and road closures stretched from east Texas into northwestern Florida after Cindy made landfall early on Thursday near the Louisiana-Texas border and weakened to a tropical depression, the National Weather Service said. Cindy is expected to dump 3 to 6 inches (7.5 to 15 cm) of rain as it heads north and east into the Ohio Valley and the Appalachian Mountains through Saturday, said Brian Hurley, a weather service meteorologist. Totals could reach 9 inches (22.5 cm) in some areas. "We're looking at quite a bit of rain. That's going to be the main threat," he said.
BSEE Oversees Testing of Shell’s Arctic Equipment
Testing of Shell’s proposed Arctic-ready capping stack system was supervised this week by the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) in Puget Sound, BSEE Director Brian Salerno announced today. BSEE Alaska Region Director Mark Fesmire oversaw the testing to ensure compliance with Federal safety standards for oil and gas exploration on the Arctic Outer Continental Shelf. The capping stack, used to contain the flow of oil in the event that all primary and backup blowout prevention equipment fails during drilling…
Readout from BSEE Director Watson Visit to Fourchon
Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) Director James A. Watson today visited Port Fourchon, La., to meet with industry representatives, the Port Commission, and the Presidents of Terrebonne and Lafourche Parishes. Director Watson discussed the recent creation of BSEE, the continued effort to enhance offshore safety and environmental protections, and the bureau's continued work on enhanced regulations. "BSEE is committed to the Administration’s goal of expanding safe and responsible development of our offshore domestic resources…
BSEE Tests GoM Response Equipment
The U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) informs it has recently tested and verified the sound working condition of various response equipment used in the Gulf of Mexico region. Analysts with BSEE’s Oil Spill Preparedness Division boarded the pollution control vessel Louisiana Responder at Fort Jackson, La. on July 14 to test the response readiness of Anadarko Petroleum Corp. While conducting an equipment verification, the team witnessed the testing of a skimmer and other associated equipment, stored in Buras, La., on the Mississippi River.
BV Issues Statoil First O&G SEMS Certificate
Bureau Veritas has awarded certification to Statoil for meeting the Safety and Environmental Management Systems (SEMS) protocols developed by the Center for Offshore Safety (COS), an enhanced set of requirements in the offshore oil and gas industry. Statoil is the first organization to be issued a SEMS certificate by Bureau Veritas and is also the first offshore operator to successfully complete an independent assessment and demonstrate compliance with the offshore safety and environmental sustainability rule. The certification recognizes that Statoil Gulf of Mexico E&P’s management system meets industry and regulatory requirements for SEMS.
Inspectors Vigilant over Shell’s Arctic Drilling
Shell’s drilling operations in the Chukchi Sea are being overseen 24/7 by inspectors from the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) to ensure compliance with federal regulations and safety standards, BSEE said. BSEE said its inspector boarded the semi-submersible drilling unit Transocean Polar Pioneer before it began drilling the top section of the well at Burger J on July 30, and a second BSEE inspector is on board the drillship Noble Discoverer at Burger V, even though the Discoverer is not permitted to conduct drilling operations while the Polar Pioneer is operating.
Shell Readies to Drill in Arctic, Seeks Modified Permit
Shell has informed the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) that it is set to restart its controversial hunt for Arctic oil, three years after the company’s last ill-fated venture north, reports The Guardian. “Fennica, the safety vessel and icebreaker, is in the Chukchi Sea, drilling continues, and we have requested the permit to drill deeper in this exploration well,” said a spokeswoman for the company. Meanwhile, Royal Dutch Shell PLC has applied to amend…
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…
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.
Drilling Contractors Might Quit US Gulf Work
The International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) say they are gravely concerned with the Interim Policy Document issued this week by the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE). By affirming that BSEE inspectors can issue Incidents of Noncompliance (INCs) to drilling contractors as well as oil companies, this unprecedented policy demonstrates a significant deviation from the global paradigm of holding operators ultimately responsible for accidents at the well site. “Drilling activity is strong around the world, with significant rig demand in areas like Brazil, West Africa and Asia Pacific. “BSEE’s guidance is inconsistent with the industry model and creates a whole new area of ambiguity,” said Brian Petty, IADC executive vice president – government affairs.
BSEE: Platform Accident Investigation Underway
Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement Update on Platform Fire Investigation. The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) began an investigation early Friday morning into the explosion and fire aboard a production platform, operated by Black Elk Energy, approximately 18 miles southeast of Grand Isle, La. An investigation team was formed by BSEE shortly after the explosion and fire and is comprised of safety inspectors, engineers, safety management investigators, and law enforcement experts.
Blaze Platform Operators, Black Elk, Rapped by BSEE
The US Bureau of Safety & Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) notify company they must take immediately improve safety performance. BSEE notify Black Elk Energy Offshore Operations (Black Elk) must take immediate steps to improve its safety performance on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). The specific actions were detailed in a letter to the company that follows a number of enforcement actions taken by the bureau over the past two years related to violations of federal regulations, including incidents resulting in injuries and pollution.
Pacific Drilling Keeps on Drilling
None of Pacific Drillings ultra-deepwater drillships are affected by a recent BSEE safety alert. Concerning the recent U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) safety alert regarding GE connectors and bolts, the company reports that none of Pacific Drilling’s rigs are covered by the directive to suspend operations. However, Pacific Drilling is proactively inspecting the Vetco ExF H-4 LMRP connector bolts on each of its rigs as operations allow. The company has the necessary spare bolts to address any issues detected during inspection. Currently, all of the company’s rigs are operating normally, and no direct revenue implications are expected as a result of this directive.