Feds tweak drilling safety mandates after hearing from industry
Federal regulators have issued a final set of standards meant to boost the design, cementing and safety of offshore wells in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon disaster two years ago. The Houston Chronicle reports the final drilling safety rule tweaks existing mandates that were imposed in October 2010 in response to the lethal blowout of BP's Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico. The change also responds to industry concerns that the first version of the mandates—imposed on an emergency basis after the spill—was muddled and riddled with conflicting requirements. James Watson, the head of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement who wrote the new standards, says the final measure was refined "based on input from stakeholders" as well as investigations into the Deepwater Horizon disaster. The rule essentially codifies industry's existing best practices for designing and securing offshore wells, just as it did two years ago. Even before Wednesday's updates, the regulation also imposed new requirements for certifying, inspecting and maintaining emergency devices known as blowout preventers, which serve as a last line of defense against unexpected oil and gas surges. But oil and gas companies complained that the first rule was improperly worded—causing confusion and, they said, potentially injecting new risks into some offshore operations. Read the full story here.
comments powered by Disqus
Real estate recap: DPW reorganization recommendations coming … Capital Region home sales post 5% gain in February … WWII bombing range near Hammond at center of new lawsuit
Office Parks Get a Makeover
What Families Are Spending on Prom Night