Energy, Regulatory Developments

O&G Proposal Worries Industry

The Department of Interior’s (DOI) most recent and perhaps most consequential responses to the catastrophic April 2010 Deepwater Horizon blowout in the Gulf of Mexico are proposed regulations for blowout preventer (BOP) systems and well control, which were published in the April 17, 2015, Federal Register.

According to Brian Salerno, director of the DOI’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), the proposed rule is an “outgrowth of an unprecedented amount of analysis and critical thought” that followed the Deepwater Horizon incident, which caused the deaths of 11 rig workers and injuries to 16 others and released millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf.

But development of the proposal, as well as its contents, have caused concerns in the oil and gas (O&G) industry, which believes that the proposal was developed without sufficient industry input, is too prescriptive, and in some ways may increase rather that lower risk of accidents.

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