The US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) is taking steps to launch an independent Ocean Energy Safety Institute, to improve safe and responsible operations across the offshore oil and gas industry.
BSEE considered establishing the institute after a recommendation from the Ocean Energy Safety Advisory Committee (OESC), a federal advisory group, which includes representatives from industry, federal government agencies, non-governmental organisations and the academic community.
The recommendation called for establishing a body that will provide a programme of research, technical assistance and education and serve as a centre of expertise in oil and gas exploration, development and production technology.
The proposed institute will provide a forum for dialogue, shared learning and cooperative research among academia, government, industry and other non-government organisations in offshore-related technologies and activities.
The institute will identify technological gaps and suggest improvements for drilling and production equipment, practices and regulation.
BSEE director James Watson said: "The Institute will help federal regulators keep pace with new processes employed by the industry as they move into deeper water and deeper geologic plays that require technological innovation to bring projects into production."
OESC chair and Sandia National Laboratory former director Dr. Thomas O. Hunter said: "As offshore energy development becomes more complex, every effort should be made to make sure it is done ever more safely."
"The Institute provides a unique opportunity for all engaged parties to work together to identify and deploy technology that will make a real and enduring difference," Hunter added.
Interior Deputy Secretary David J. Hayes said: "The continued shift of the offshore oil and gas industry into deeper water and frontier areas requires new expertise for offshore workers and the regulators who oversee leasing, environmental reviews, exploration, development and production operations."
Image: The proposed institute will identify technological gaps and suggest improvements in drilling. Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.