File April 21, This week, the federal government has both released new regulations aimed at preventing future blowouts and, somewhat ironically, also began plans to lease out more areas of the Gulf for offshore drilling over the next five years. They also established a more rigorous certification process for these blowout preventers, and require real-time monitoring for high-temperature and high-pressure drilling.
Introduction The Deepwater Horizon oil spill, also referred to as the BP oil spill, occurred on April 20, and is considered the largest marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry.
Further, the Commission declared Bp and government regulation response capabilities had not improved since the Exxon Valdez spill in Inadequate agency regulations combined with a lack of concern for proper safety created the ultimate ticking time bomb.
Have drastic steps been taken to change the safety culture of offshore drilling, or has it been a return to the old status quo?
Investment analysts report that 45 to 50 deep water drilling rigs could be operating in the Gulf of Mexico ina nearly 50 percent increase over the number of rigs drilling at the time of the BP-Deepwater Horizon disaster.
Yet this effort could be characterized as trivial at best, as there has not been a single new piece of offshore safety or environmental liability legislation passed by the U.
The following topics are discussed in the paper: An overview Bp and government regulation the government safety regulations for offshore drilling before the BP oil disaster. A compare and contrast of what other national governments and foreign government agencies have done in regards to offshore drilling regulations.
An analysis of what the major oil companies are doing on their own within the industry to make offshore drilling safer. How effective can self-regulation be? A proposal of ideal government regulations and agency review that would promote proper safety practice in offshore drilling.
The MMS was a bureau within the U. Department of the Interior DOI.
Charged with regulating an extremely sophisticated industry—an industry possessing some of the most complex technology available in the energy field—MMS never possessed the proper budget necessary to regulate effectively.
For example, MMS employed around 60 inspectors to cover nearly 4, offshore facilities in the Gulf of Mexico. Federal records show that despite chronic safety problems within the industry, MMS imposed paltry fines that often took years to collect.
The rule was finalized on October 15,and incorporated by referencing the existing industry-developed voluntary management system known as API RP It is now the responsibility of management to ensure that SEMS is fully implemented as an integral part of operations. The SEMS plan must include detailed provisions for management of change, standard operating procedures, and safe work practices.
Companies have a duty to select contractors who have safe work practices and must ensure that all contractors are aware of the detailed operational procedures. Companies must provide ongoing safety training for staff.
There must be procedures in place to ensure mechanical integrity of all equipment through testing and inspection. Companies must conduct a pre-startup review, essentially a checklist before new operations start or new equipment is used, ensuring that all factors such as emergency procedures and staff training are in place.
Under the existing SEMS rule, employees as well as third parties may conduct audits. This is a weakness as these employees may be seen as acting on behalf of their respective employer.
EMS should be revised to demand independent verification of compliance. Independent verification of compliance is crucial because the evidence suggests management systems alone are unlikely to change practices or attitudes.
Paperwork, without a genuine safety culture, will not reduce accidents or protect workers or the environment. Evidence indicates that API RP 75 was not widely followed by offshore companies when it was voluntary thus, now that DOI is making the SEMS mandatory, they must provide strong incentives to follow the now mandatory requirements.
The new, mandatory SEMS are a step in the right direction; however, there are amendments and clarifications the DOI must make to help the SEMS achieve its goal of providing proper safety practices in the offshore drilling industry.
Independent third-party certification was required to show that the blind shear rams in the BOP were capable of cutting any drill pipe in the hole. The Safety Case requires companies to identify all possible risks of the operation they plan to undertake and explain how these will be eliminated or reduced to an acceptable level.
The regulations specify the acceptable level of risk but do not contain any prescriptive requirement except the use of good practice, which is required as a minimum. The duty to ensure safety remains with the operating company at all times. The Safety Case must be reviewed and resubmitted every five years, although it must be kept up to date at all times with the company making revisions in between the formal resubmissions in the event of any operational changes.
First, there are traditional inspections conducted by HSE, which is well-resourced agency. Industry publishes detailed guidance on such audits.
An independent review of the Safety Case regime, commissioned by the British government after Deepwater Horizon, found that the combination of these three elements was one of the strengths of the Safety Case.
Some evaluations find that it encourages industry to innovate and spread best practices.The Bureau enforces compliance with these regulations and periodically updates rules to reflect advancements in technology and new information.
This section provides access to BOEM rules, regulations, and guidance to the offshore industry. Aviation Plans; BOEM Code of Federal Regulations urbanagricultureinitiative.com – a U.S.
government web site that. Apr 14, · BP Gulf oil spill anniversary comes with new regulations according to US government estimates. The draft regulation, which was announced April 13, is the third announced by the Obama.
According to Think Progress, the government’s new regulations set requirements for the “design, manufacture, repair, and maintenance” of blowout preventers – the piece of safety equipment that is supposed to seal the oil well during an emergency – based on the most current industry standards.
Apr 11, · The new regulation is an attempt to prevent disasters like the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico, but the Obama administration is also . BP Oil Spill Lawsuits and Legal Issues.
The BP oil spill affected thousands of people and businesses in the Gulf region. Here's a look at the legal landscape since (and related fines and cleanup orders from the federal government). Property damage.
The BP oil spill damaged commercial, residential, and undeveloped property along the. The Obama administration has outlined new drilling regulations aimed at preventing a repeat of the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.
But the White House is set for a brawl.