The development of an ocean energy safety institute to tackle oil spills such as the one in the Gulf of Mexico was proposed by the US Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar.

The institute will facilitate research and development, training and implementation in the areas of offshore drilling safety, blowout containment and oil-spill response.

Salazar said that the Deepwater Horizon tragedy highlighted the importance of raising the bar on offshore drilling safety, practices and technology.

“The Institute would serve to coordinate and institutionalise the lessons and strategies learned from the oil spill so that the US can stay at the forefront of drilling safety, containment and spill response.”

The institute will be a collaborative initiative including government, industry, academia and scientific experts.

It will look to advance safe and environmentally responsible offshore drilling in the areas of drilling safety, containment and spill response, and develop advanced drilling technology testing and implementation protocols.

The institute will also focus on creating a framework for regulatory predictability in a global market.