Access to images perhaps similar to those that captivated viewers in real time around the world during the Deepwater Horizon disaster would be standard procedure under a new set of proposed federal offshore guidelines.
These include the live monitoring of deepwater and high-temperature/high pressure drilling activities, similar to what is currently used onshore.
“The real-time monitoring requirement ensures that the operator has access to onshore technical expertise if needed and that there is ‘another set of eyes’ available during critical operations,” according to the statement.
Houston personal injury lawyer Charles Herd, a partner at The Lanier Law Firm, which represented commercial plaintiffs during the Deepwater Horizon litigation, said he doesn’t expect much pushback from the agency on this particular requirement.
“Not only has it been an advantage in onshore applications, it is certainly reasonable,” he told Rigzone. “It should’ve been done (offshore) before now.”
On April 13, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement released a third set of guidelines designed to promote safety in offshore drillings. According to a statement from the agency, the latest improvements will close the gaps in existing requirements and update regulations to reflect industry best practices.
In addition, the regulations would now require an annual review of the repair and maintenance record of BOP equipment by an approved BSEE third party; personnel training requirements for repairs and maintenance; as well as complete traceability of critical components.
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