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Center for Offshore Safety Hosts Industry, BSEE, Coast Guard at OTC 2014

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The Center for Offshore Safety hosted leaders from industry, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, and the U.S. Coast Guard Thursday for an in-depth discussion of efforts to enhance the safety of offshore oil and natural gas development.

“The industry and the government together have made tremendous strides toward greater safety,” said COS Executive Director Charlie Williams. “COS’ work with independent safety and environmental management system (SEMS) auditors and government regulators is reinforcing the industry’s safety culture and helping to spread good practices throughout the industry. Even one incident is too many, which is why we strive for continual improvement to reduce risk and improve safety.”

The event included two expert panel discussions with representatives from ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell, Statoil, the International Association of Drilling Contractors, and the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers. The first panel covered safety systems in the U.S. and around the world, looking at aspects such as effectiveness, challenges and harmonization. The second panel focused on actions, processes, leadership requirements, and success factors for building strong safety cultures.

“Sharing information about successful safety programs helps to strengthen safety throughout the industry and is one of the COS’ top priorities,” said Williams. “Increasing our collective knowledge helps each and every company improve safety through better operations, practices and communication.”

Keynote presentations from BSEE Director Brian Salerno and USCG Rear Admiral Joseph Servidio opened and closed the half-day event, part of COS’ sponsorship of the 2014 Offshore Technology Conference. Their presentations focused on collaborative efforts by BSEE and the USCG to help industry improve operations through Safety Management Systems, ways to improve these systems, and growing a strong safety culture offshore. BSEE has already adopted three COS guidelines into its own regulations.

COS also announced during the event the winners of its 2014 Safety Leadership Awards, created this year to recognize and encourage outstanding contributions to improving safety management. Diamond Offshore Company was recognized in the contractor category, and Chevron North America E&P and ExxonMobil Corporation were recognized in the operator category.

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