Drilling Platform

US-based Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) and Nasa have collaborated to minimise the risks related to offshore drilling.

The companies have signed a five-year agreement that will allow BSEE to capitalise on the available risk management approaches from the aeronautics industry, and strengthen offshore worker and environmental protection on the Outer Continental Shelf.

BSEE director Brian Salerno said: "Both BSEE and Nasa work in harsh and uncompromising environments, relying on cutting-edge technology to go deeper and further than previously thought possible.

"This partnership brings together technical experts from BSEE and Nasa to focus on the specific risks associated with offshore operations so that we can continue to find ways to improve safety for offshore workers and protect the environment."

As part of the agreement, BSEE will make use of Nasa’s probabilistic risk assessment technique to further develop its risk management capability.

"This partnership brings together technical experts from BSEE and Nasa to focus on the specific risks associated with offshore operations."

The agency will also assess, design and test technologies and hardware, including safe technologies.

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BSEE will use Nasa’s resources and its expertise of failure analysis laboratory located at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, US, to evaluate failures and near-miss occurrences.

Nasa’s risk assessment technique is currently being used for the International Space Station and Orion deep space capsule programmes.

Johnson Space Center technology transfer strategist Jack James said: "Whether the task takes one to deep space, or into the deep ocean, the analysis of the environment, training of personnel and risk mitigation factors are similar."

Image: The agreement will allow BSEE to strengthen environmental safety protections on the Outer Continental Shelf. Photo: courtesy of think4photop via freedigitalphotos.net.