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Since the Macondo blowout and the Gulf oil spill, offshore operators in the Gulf of Mexico must contend with an increasing set of safety and spill containment regulations. These include the Workplace Safety Rule and the Drilling Safety Rule. Such regulatory regimes are also being extended to international arenas. For well capping and containment, industry organizations and operators are combining their resources to develop viable strategies and equipment.
In October 2010, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) issued its Workplace Safety Rule, requiring offshore oil and gas operators to develop and maintain a Safety and Environmental Management System (SEMS), a comprehensive management program for identifying, addressing and managing operational safety hazards and impacts, with the goal of promoting human safety and environmental protection. The Workplace Safety Rule covers all offshore oil and gas operations in federal waters and makes mandatory the previously voluntary practices in the American Petroleum Institute’s Recommended Practice 75 (RP 75).
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