The federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has published in the Federal Register proposed revisions to production safety systems regulations for offshore drilling operations, to reduce what the Trump Administration says is undue burden on the industry.
“By reducing the regulatory burden on industry, we are encouraging increased domestic oil and gas production while maintaining a high bar for safety and environmental sustainability,” said BSEE director Scott Angelle. BSEE’s initial regulatory impact analysis estimates that the proposed amendments will reduce industry compliance burdens by at least $228 million over 10 years.
The proposed revisions would remove the requirement for certified third-party inspections to prevent blowouts and add gas lift shutdown valves to required wells safety and pollution prevention equipment.
The current rules came in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, which released more than 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, proving a disaster to marine life and exposing cleanup workers and area residents to toxic chemicals. Many in the oil and gas industry contended that the resulting regulations went too far in the efforts to prevent a future catastrophe, and inhibited offshore production.
The public is invited to comment on the proposal by going online at https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/12/29/2017-27309/oil-and-gas-and-sulphur-operations-on-the-outer-continental-shelf-oil-and-gas-production-safety