CSB Announces Panel for Offshore Safety Hearing

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) on Wednesday announced the panel participants for its daylong public hearing entitled "Regulatory Approaches to Offshore Oil and Gas Safety" which will be held on December 15, 2010 in Washington, DC. The hearing is part of the CSB's ongoing investigation into the April 20, 2010, fire and explosion on the Deepwater Horizon that killed 11 workers.

The hearing will allow the CSB board and the Deepwater Horizon investigation team an opportunity to gather information on how offshore oil and gas drilling is managed and regulated in other countries. The data will be considered in the ongoing CSB investigation and will help inform the board's safety recommendations. Additionally, the CSB will examine this information in light of other significant CSB energy sector investigations and recommendations including the 2005 BP Texas City accident investigation. The hearing will consist of testimony from three panels featuring leading safety experts from regulatory authorities, industry and unions involved in oil and gas exploration and production safety operations:

Regulatory Panel
Ian Whewell - Former Director of Offshore Division, United Kingdom Health and Safety Executive
Magne Ognedal - Director, General Norwegian Petroleum Safety Authority
John Clegg - Former CEO, Australian National Offshore Petroleum Safety Authority

Industry Panel
Erik Milito - Director of Upstream and Industry Operations, American Petroleum Institute
Joe Leimkuhler - Offshore Well Delivery Manager, Shell Oil
Ole Preben Berget - Vice President Operations USA and Mexico E&P, Statoil
Alan Spackman - Vice President, Offshore Technical and Regulatory Affairs, International Association of Drilling Contractors
Robin Pitblado - Director of SHE Risk Management Services, DNV

Union Panel
Mike Wright - Director, Health Safety and Environment, United Steelworkers
Roy Erling Furre - Representative, Norwegian Union of Energy Workers
Glenn Trimmer - USW Local 4959, Alaska
Fritz Guenther - President, USW Local 4959, Alaska

The meeting will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Embassy Suites Ballroom located at 1250 22nd Street Northwest in Washington D.C. The meeting is free and open to the public. Members of the audience will have an opportunity to comment and to submit questions for the panel participants.

The meeting will be accessible via webcast through the CSB's homepage at <a href=http://www.csb.gov>www.csb.gov</a.>. All proceedings will be videotaped and an official transcript will be published.</p><p>

The CSB is an independent federal agency charged with investigating industrial chemical accidents. The agency's board members are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. CSB investigations look into all aspects of chemical accidents, including physical causes such as equipment failure as well as inadequacies in regulations, industry standards, and safety management systems.

The Board does not issue citations or fines but does make safety recommendations to plants, industry organizations, labor groups, and regulatory agencies such as OSHA and EPA.


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