Interior Dept. Offers Offshore Drilling Requirements

The Department of the Interior issued a directive to oil and gas lessees and operators on the Outer Continental Shelf implementing stronger safety requirements that Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar recommended in his 30-day safety report to the President.

The Notice to Lessees focusing on safety measures issued applies to both deepwater and shallow water operations, although drilling operations in water deeper than 500 feet remain under a six-month moratorium. Shallow water drilling operations and production activity in both deep and shallow waters are not under a moratorium and will continue, provided they are in compliance with the new safety requirements.

"Oil and gas from the Outer Continental Shelf remains an important component of our energy security as we transition to the clean energy economy, but we must ensure that offshore drilling is conducted safely and in compliance with the law," said Secretary Salazar. "The deepwater drilling moratorium that is in place will provide time for the Presidential Commission to complete its work, but production and shallow water drilling may continue under the stronger safety requirements that we are implementing today."

The Safety NTL issued implements the seven safety requirements that Secretary Salazar's 30 day safety report to the President determined could be implemented immediately. Under the NTL, lessees and operators are required to:

  • Show certification by the operator's Chief Executive Officer that they are conducting their operations in compliance with all operating regulations and that they have tested their drilling equipment, ensured that personnel are properly trained, and reviewed their procedures to ensure the safety of personnel and protection of the environment;
  • Provide certification from a Professional Engineer – before beginning any new drilling operations using either a surface or subsea blowout preventer (BOP) stack – of all well casing and cement design requirements, including that there are at least two independent tested barriers for the well, and adhere to new casing installation procedures;
  • Provide independent third-party verification, before drilling any new well, that the BOP will operate properly with the drilling rig equipment and is compatible with the specific well location, borehole design and drilling plan;
  • Provide independent third-party verification that shows that the blind-shear rams installed on the surface or subsea BOP stack are capable of shearing the drill pipe in the hole under maximum anticipated surface pressures;
  • Adhere to new inspection and reporting requirements for BOP and well control system configuration, BOP and well control test results, BOP and loss of well control events, and BOP and loss of well control system downtime;
  • Receive independent third-party verification, before spudding a new well, of re-certification of BOP equipment used on all floating drilling rigs to ensure that the devices will operate as originally designed, and that any modifications or upgrades conducted after delivery have not compromised the design or operation of the BOP;
  • Have a secondary control system for subsea BOP stacks with remote operated vehicle (ROV) intervention capabilities, including the ability to close one set of blind-shear rams and one set of pipe rams. The subsea BOP system must have an emergency shut-in system in the event of lost power, as well as a deadman system and an autoshear system;
  • Conduct ROV Hot Stab Function Testing of the ROV Intervention Panel on subsurface BOP stacks; and
  • Provide documentation that the BOP has been maintained according to the regulations.

Drilling operations that are not subject to the deepwater drilling moratorium must fulfill their BOP reporting requirements by June 17 and submit the required safety certifications by June 28. Failure to provide required certifications will result in the issuance of an incident of non-compliance and may result in a shut-in order.

In the coming days, the Department of the Interior will be also be issuing expanded requirements for exploration plans and development plans on the Outer Continental Shelf, said Bob Abbey, who is the Director of the Bureau of Land Management and who has also been called upon to serve as Director of the Minerals Management Service. The Department of the Interior and the Council on Environmental Quality are also conducting a review of MMS' procedures under the National Environmental Policy Act.

"We are following an orderly, responsible process for implementing stronger safety and environmental requirements of offshore drilling," said Abbey. "We need to make sure that drilling is done right, that it is done safely, and that oil and gas operators are following the law."


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Franco dos Santos | Jun. 16, 2010
We all see issues through our own values which are brought by experience and as such nobody can claim to be the owner of truth. I can see that this is a heated debate and can understand why. It is sad that this debate happened in the first place but the fact is that at this moment we are still dealing with a well which is spewing out quite a few thousand of barrels per day. So much for any Safety Case, obviously the previous preparation was a "paper preparation", probably copy and paste, and copy and paste, etc. The Company Man was used to take short-cuts, the OIM or the Toolpusher of Transocean didn't stand-up, the BOP was not designed and/or maintained in such a way as not to fail...and the result is what we know. I have been working in the oil industry for the past 17 years and have dedicated my life to Environmental Management of Offshore Drilling, having organized the first in the world certification of an environmental management system for a drilling rig back in 1999. I am still working on the field. As such, my values are from within the industry, with a environmental bias. There was a time a few decades ago where it was accepted to have accidents "there was nothing that we could do..." it was then said commonly. We have come a long way, but nowadays, at least on the major drilling contractors accidents are rare. What we haven't yet internalized is the notion that we have to drill with respect to the environment...and I mean REAL RESPECT, not just pretending to have nice Policies and a certificate saying "this company is green," but a paradigm change in Corporate lives, that understands that being environmental friendly is much more than just words. It needs the COMMITMENT OF THE CEOs and then clear vertical and horizontal influence throughout the organization. Unfortunately, as CEOs road map just sees RED (stock prices falling), they cannot easily get out of the trap of looking and targeting short term gains, in order to work towards the long term benefit of the organization and its social and natural environment. This is the essence of the problem. A focus only on one aspect of drilling, the actual well, without due thought to the other aspects that are also influential in the outcome - be that the environment or people. Saving a dollar today to spend a few billion tomorrow, we can say with experience. I do not want to comment on the political side, but to make the point that we will be seeing much more drilling on the decades to come, as oil will continue to be an important energy source on the necessary diversification of energy types. Deepwater drilling is now the norm on many oceans of the world. Let's hope that this unfortunate accident acts as a "shaker" to the deepwater drilling contractors and their clients, so that we all realize that the current BOPs design (and riser!) may not be fully adequate to the dangers of some deepwater wells and to play safe they need to be redesigned to incorporate new fail-safe features. If this is not introduced we will see more Deepwater Horizon tragedies... Hopefully, the Oil Companies and Drilling Contractors will understand that in order to be on the BLUE we need to be GREEN.

Anthony Dunlap | Jun. 13, 2010
There are a lot of comments regarding these proposed regulations, some of them are accurate in pointing out that these regulations already exist in the offshore drilling industry. Adding more regulations doesn't help when the existing regulations are not being applied. While BP as a corporate body are rightly held accountable for all of the mess they have caused, and will have to try and rectify their errors (which with the environmental impact may be impossible in the short term), I have not seen any reference to how these regulations will be enforced. Isn't it time the "operator" was relieved of final responsibility (the Company Man is God) and the government had an observer (qualified) on board to measure compliance?

HAROLD O. HAY | Jun. 11, 2010
On June 15, 2010 I will have been working inland and offshore for 45 Years and have been exposed to several accidents, along with 3 fatalities during my Oilfield Career. I have seen good changes and bad changes in the Oilfield, But it is the same old story when the Goverment gets involved it is never good for the working man and tax payers.

Robbie | Jun. 11, 2010
One more example of the ignorance of the Federal Gov. If you know your drilling, this would not have happened if the right decisions would have been made by the B.P. Company Man. There are enough regulations on these rigs now to sink them with paper work. The same thing caused this tradgedy, caused the fall of our economy. GREED!!! May Gods grace be with the families of the men that were lost and His mercy with the ones that are responsible for these men.

John Griffiths | Jun. 11, 2010
The above list of regulations is highly repetitive especially concerning BOP Certification.No-one can verify that the BOP will work at any given moment, they can only say that it worked on test under given conditions and is in-line with the design intent. Omissions include no mention of special early detectors for gas kicks which was the likely cause of the BP blow-out. Why dont these people consult properly with those who have the expertise. Knee-jerk regulations are usually poor - these seem no exception.

phillip | Jun. 10, 2010
Currently the above statement of new implementations, have been in effect for a long time. If you work in the industry you would know that blowout preventor or bops are tested periodically. when they are first installed, and by a third party. Bops are tested every time a new casing string and or well head is installed. The testing of shear rams on a test stump mounted on a floater/ drill ship would have to be used. to verifyfunctionallity of the device. Allso bops currently are tested every 14 days current mms regulations, Test times can be from 6 to 24hrs. Depending on the systems envolved. Groups that are used to due third party testing currently cementing companys, speacialty test companies so on. If the goverment that is currently acting as if they are doing something, not. What modifications would they truely like to make? If it is not broken you do not try to fix it more then it is just broken. Currently the oil spill is a disaster, but so is the imposing of the moratorium. It is doing heavy damage to the finacial system of louisiana, texas and mississippi. These Gulf coast states rely on revenues collected from these taxes. But it is ok i guess the goverment DEMOCRATICSOCIALIST PARTY can give us a pay check...EPIC FAIL.

EveningStarNM to almost unemployed | Jun. 10, 2010
Ill bet you wish that we had a decent welfare system now. But you kept voting for Republicans, and this is the inevitable result. No one is talking about shutting down drilling -- even deepwater drilling. But were not going to let companies endanger the public. Theyre going to have to prove not only that they can do things safely but that they ARE doing things safely. The public has a right to protect itself from predatory companies like BP. And if you dont have the brains to form a union strong enough to protect your safety then we, The People, are going to do it for you.

Jason | Jun. 10, 2010
Once again we have the politicians in D.C. and their typical reactive regulatory response. It's Sarbanes-Oxley for drillers! I say these rules are a complete waste of time and money, but here we go - another financial windfall for the lawyers who get to deal with this scheme. Offshore drilling has a very good safety track record, and at the end of the day, no set of rules can prevent accidents and/or negligence. There will always be risks.

Harold R Schmidt | Jun. 10, 2010
I agree. Being in the oilfield all my life as a worker, it is sad they have to do this, but when you have a company like BP that poor boy every thing beyond reason someone has to step in. It's sad it punishes everyone.

sedric curvin | Jun. 10, 2010

All these additionals reglementations are surely good; but in most of companies workers follow jobs instructions. Problems are coming when tools or materials are not working properly or people made mistakes for uses.Although that is rare! it could happen and most good companies have secondary or third solutions to reach these fails. To prevent these company do their best and provide indepedent third party for verification will be good ;but not sufficient because off-shore industry have done more before. So what we have to do in this case; company have just to put in place their different solutions when they started drilling plan; and not wait to test different solutions when problem coming. I mean it not necessary to drill to ten thousand meters if we can not response to oil spill at this dephts.

John Thessen | Jun. 10, 2010
Why werent these precautionary procedures in place befor BP oil castrophe? Why does the industry always play catch up after theres an incident, instead of a reactionary position. This is ludicrous. And you all should banned from the industry. Everybody knows saftey costs money, why dont you spend some of it, and try it? You might like it !!

almost unemployed | Jun. 10, 2010
I move and anchor out semis. When we have stacked the last rig I will probably be unemployed. So all that agree with the deep water moratorium tell my kids that they cant get new school clothes or why there are so few presents under the tree for Christmas, because the "President" took my job away. He is in way over his head. He has nobody around him that knows anything about deep water drilling. He needs to get the minds of the industry involved in this situation, not a bunch of quacks with their heads stuck up their backsides like Salazar. We need action and we need it yesterday. Call on the oil companies and engineers that actually know what they are talking about. Get together a conference and do it now. not over the next six months. Deep water drilling in the GOM is over as we know it. Anadarko is pulling 3 semis out of the gulf already and it wont be long before the rest follow suit. Goodbye way of life. Goodbye Louisiana economy. Thank you Mr. Jack*ss. And if you agree with the six month moratorium, try walking everywhere you have to go for the next six months because you dont deserve to drive or ride there.

trent | Jun. 9, 2010
I see comments siding with shutting drilling down for the sake of human lives....let me just say that while this is a monumental disaster and BP should be held accountable and then be held accountable again.. AND AGAIN TO CLEAN MY GULF OF MEXICO UP...THEY CAN GO UNDER FOR ALL I CARE AND TAKE THEIR GREEN ENERGY DEPARTMENT WITH THEM ALONG WITH SHELL AND EXXON ....just watching prices and unemployment rise along with the inflationary counterfeiting measures taken by the federal reserve of nitwits with their new world, or as barry call for, international order you will see plight and suffering to boot the likes all you idiots calling for the drilling to stop will never be able to cope with....BP is suspect as hell along with the banking cartels that dumped mounds of their stock just weeks before this crap began....WHY DONT we can discuss how much money BP donated to the globalist scum in washington or we can actually believe these hordes of bull@#$% artists...or lets talk about big pharma getting a pass in the US for their cooked up lies about h1n1 trying to beta test soft kill weapons on the population or monsanto getting a pass for attempting to sterilize the population with gmo foods. IT ALL STINKS .....ILL KEEP MY GUNS AND YOU IDIOT LIBERAL FASCISTS CAN KEEP THE CHANGE......A CENTRALLY PLANNED ECONOMY WILL FAIL AND WE WILL DIE IN HORDES JUST LIKE THE FORMER USSR OR CHINA...........AND TO THE FCC YOU SEE MY E-MAIL UP THERE COME AND GET THIS RED-BLOODED PATRIOT...I DARE YOU

P.S> to DK from EveningStarNM | Jun. 9, 2010
We must not drill in places that we dont know how to drill in. Obviously, drilling in deep water is something that we dont understand yet because, if we did, this catastrophe would not have happened. We would have had the regulatory system in place to make sure that it didnt because, obviously, BP (and other companies) DO NOT always think its in their interest to do things right.

But if we get the proper regulatory system in place, then we CAN drill in deep water safely. And please dont cry to me about companies going to drill other places. Theyre going to drill where there is oil, wherever that is. Peak oil is upon us, and the price is just going to go up and up and up, and there is no incentive to not drill absolutely everywhere EXCEPT when people decide its not in their interest to drill in certain places. Granted that we no longer have majority rule and the money will do whatever it wants no matter what the people want, but that will not always be the case.

You will be prohibited from drilling in some places. And thats a good thing, because you will not pay the full cost of such operations. The Deepwater Horizon is just the latest example of how that is true. Exxon Valdez is another example: the last legal case was just concluded, but Exxon and BP paid only a fraction of the damage that they cause, and there is STILL oil on the beaches.

The oil industry will be regulated because its necessary. Get used to it.

jim bell | Jun. 9, 2010
The oil biz is already the most regulated and over taxed industry in the USA. The ignorance of the socialisic democratics will likely end the oil biz as we know it, and wooo-be-it....have a nice day JAB

EveningStarNM | Jun. 9, 2010
DK, no one said anything about moving to a socialist society. Youre kind always think in terms of the extremes when obviously neither extreme works.

The answer is exactly in the middle of the two. We need a socialist police department and a socialist fire department and a socialist military and a socialist educational system and a socialist public utilities department because those are things that everyone needs and everyone should own jointly.

And we should also have socialist environmental regulations because what you do on your property DOES affect me on my property. What you pour into the air and water does affect me, and you must not be allowed free reign over those public resources.

But capitalistic functions do work better at fostering innovation and in providing goods and services that NOT everyone needs. Capitalistic organizations are better at distributing many -- but not all -- kinds of goods and services. But peoples safety and welfare still must be protected, as we saw when companies are caught selling tainted food or goods manufactured by child labor because they think its good for the corporate bottom line. And its often in the public interest to give grants to private firms for developing new technologies. For instance, other countries are kicking our asses when it comes to developing and manufacturing solar and wind power generating technologies. Theyre going to get rich because were still focusing on dinosaur juice while theyre publicly investing in jobs for their people.

Neither capitalism nor corporatism is good at meeting a societys needs. Neither is socialism. The correct system is the middle ground where the people control their government and not the monied interests.

And thats why were in the mess that were in: Youve been voting for the people who can and will take your power and your money and your voice. Youve surrendered it. And when the worldwide economy crashes, when Goldman Sachs starts shorting U.S. Treasury bonds they way they shorted Greece, there will be only one person who you can blame:


Eco-Capitalist | Jun. 9, 2010
As both a "greenie" and a capitalist, it is obvious that capitalism by itself is rewarded when operating at the lowest possible expense and the highest revenue. The role of government is to regulate any capitalist system that has the potential to create harm outside of its business - ie. pollution in the case of drilling and global economic collapse in the case of banks. As new information is learned about oil wells (that relief wells serve as added safety for example) then government learns better and more effective ways to regulate. It is better to have a learning regulatory system than one that is either absent (pure capitalism) or inefficient (Indias). We can be both the best capitalists and the best at efficiently controlling externalities.

From DK to EveningStarNM | Jun. 9, 2010
We can go to a Socialist society. This would be a fun experiment. Wait a minute... Greece tried that. Our system is not perfect but it is the best system of a multitude of crappy systems. I will grant you it is not perfect but in light of the fact that thousands of years have been spent trying to find the ideal system and none have worked thus far except for capitalism I have to defer to the United States of Capitalism.

When you say "soul-less" you are referring to a real person. Imagine the company man at BP that made the call to "skip a step" to save a few million bucks. Had he/she known this would be the outcome they would have changed their position rather quickly. We all mistakes. This happened to be a deadly a mistake. What if it was you?

The Deepwater Horizon incident is nothing short of a disaster. However, I think we know that man and woman are not perfect (I can say that woman is definitely more perfect than man.. being a man myself).

Let us not punish 100,000 more people by halting drilling altogether. If you send rigs overseas to somewhere like West Africa the situation will be much worse. Their regulations stink and the ecological and economical damage would be much greater. The U.S. of A. is the most safety conscious nation in the world. Why? Because we are capitalist and we self correct in our own self interest. Hello Darwinism... again. Apparently this guy new his sh&t.

EveninStarNM, If we met we would probably be the best of friends but you are really pissing me off right now. :-)

Back to DK from EveningStarNM | Jun. 9, 2010
You say that "the capitalist system is cleaning up this mess without the help of the govt." Perhaps you missed the news.

BP lied and lied and lied for years about their preparedness and during the first two weeks of this crisis. They told exactly the same kinds of lies before and during Exxon Valdez, when theyd claimed that they had adequate emergency equipment in place.

But BP is not the only oil company that spills huge quantities of waste into human and other creatures habitats. Corporations whose bottom lines tell them its more cost effective to ignore safety violations and to pay the minimal fines when caught -- which is unlikely because inspections are so lax -- cannot be expected to do any differently. Corporatists keep saying that capitalism works, except that we dont have a capitalist system anymore. Its a corporatist system, a different creature in which people are subjugated to the bottom line.

You keep saying that capitalism works, yet the catastrophes keep getting bigger and bigger, and more and more lives are lost unnecessarily.

Capitalism does not work. It would have been better -- and it was possible -- to avoid this mess completely and still have those eleven husbands and fathers and brothers coming home to their families if we had adequate regulations and enforced compliance.

Soul-less, bottom-line driven corporations will always seek to minimize safety to enhance profits. If you dont understand that by now, after centuries of experience with them, then you simply arent paying attention.

EveningStarNM | Jun. 9, 2010
Jean Baggett, we did "let the professionals in the oil industry do what they do best." It says something about you that you cant see the result.

John Soileau | Jun. 9, 2010
I think this new action by the federal goverment will harm the economy in Louisiana and all of the oil producing states. I am working for a service company in the oilfield and with the moratorium being six months long will cause unemployment to sky rocket. I guess thats what we get for not voting for President Obama in Louisiana. Oh well I wont vote for him when reelection time comes along.

RWest | Jun. 9, 2010
This was all BPs fault for trying to save a buck. Now Obama wants to get his foot in the door and have the Feds take over oil and gas exploration. The oilfield all by its lonesome has done a good job of policing its self over the years. I spent 34yrs on the service side and if Barry has his way the oilfield as you and I know it will be long gone in just a few years.

Lynn, | Jun. 9, 2010
Personally, I think a human life is more important than a single barrel of oil. There needs to be safety that works in place. But I also think that we need oil ... so its a difficult situation for the President or the oil companies to be in. wish EVERYONE well in solving this problem!

NM Techie / PE degree in ABQ | Jun. 9, 2010
I can not believe DK comments. They are deluded at best. I agree with EveningStar in NM.

BPs recless actions are a grossly negligent act "that killed eleven people and resulted in the biggest man-made environmental disaster ever, and one that is an extinction level event for wide stretches of the Gulf coast." The dispersants being used by BP are creating massive dead zones that are inhospitable to all but the simplest life forms who nows how mant decades it will take the GOF ecsystem to recover (if it does at all).

Why arent BP executives being haled off to jail and being charged with negligent homocide and a host of other crimes?

Just like the effects of the Exxon Valdez spill on the economy of Prince Edward sound is still being felt today, the effect on the economy of the gulf coast will be felt for generations. Life has been changed forever. So unless BP will be paying claims to all parties harmed inperpetuity, there is no forgiving BP for their gross negligence.

20 years after the Exxon Valdez spill, Exxon still isnt paying their damages.

"The capitalist system is cleaning up this mess?" I dont see any serious cleanup effort happening. Does anyone else actually view what is being put forth as "cleanup" is actually effective?

I dont have time to refute DK comments line by line and I wish I did because if other people actually believe what DK says, then the human race is doomed to extinction at our own hands in less than 200 years.

Kenneth Burgess | Jun. 9, 2010
More "eyewash". Its not like the industry is not doing all of the above. Typical bureaucrap, they just want more of it. The Horizon disaster was and is not a safety issue but a bad decision by one man, i.e. "the company man." No one farts on one of those rigs unless he okays it. Obama, Salazar et al need to stick to what they do best...and that is? May GOD have mercy on the families of those that lost their lives.

James R Galligan | Jun. 9, 2010
There needs to some other organization other than MMS or at least manpower that holds true to the testing procedures of the BOP, If I m not correct every ten days the BOPis to be tested completed, Iv seen MMS give extension on the time frame for very poor reasons, MMS would come on the rig maybe once during the well and that would be usualy a friday for Seafood lunch, go over paper work that was written Months ago, and sometimes decide not to go out on deck for a walk around.

MMS needs many more SUB sea type of people that Know what there looking at other than a big white thing, MMS knows nothing about the inner working of a BOP or HYd. Systems that operate it. Plus BP taking short cuts on Casing jobs to save a Dollar even though it was a PA/Plug&abandon well.

Maybe there should be designated MMS or third party subsea Eng, overseeing every aspect of BOP tear down, replacing ram rubbers, Hydril rubbers and full inspection to include full function testing after re-assemby. Yes I do work Deep water rigs Myself, world wide.

I think the onus with haver to be shared by Transocean, who owns the equipment, Haliburton Cementing crews and Cameron for the manufacture of the BOP, A cameron rep should be as the third party rep 24/7 to protect Camerons good name.

ME | Jun. 9, 2010
Who is John Gault? Atlas Shrugged Read it you will see the similarities.

Jean Baggett | Jun. 9, 2010
I think obama and his cronies need to stick to what they know about, which seems to be not much of anything, and let the professionals in the oil industry do what they do best.

DK to EveningStarNM | Jun. 9, 2010
EveningStar, I did not say BP was not at fault. I think we have all well established that BP screwed up - big time. They are paying the price and they will never be the same company. If they could go back in time and change things, they would. They have apologized and said they will take full responsibility for their actions. I am not a Bible thumper but even God says to forgive. Will you?

The capitalist system is cleaning up this mess without the help of the govt. The capitalist system works so well because because people are naturally self interested. This is a Dawrnistist concept that has been proven time and time again in nature and business.

It is in BPs self interest to be safe. It is in BPs self interest not to kill people. It is in BPs self interest not to spew billions of dollars into the Gulf.

The capitalist system is a very elegant system and works without much intervention. However, there are some arrogant politicians that think they are smarter than the system and they can stick their greasy palms into the capitalist machine and make it better. History will prove them wrong - again.

God bless the families of the fallen and please give our politicians the wisdom to prevent a disaster from becoming an economic catastrophe that wrecks more lives.

Neil de Guzman | Jun. 9, 2010
The rules promulgated do not address the actual causes of the problems nor do they clearly define the Objectives. New technology is required to build wells without any risk of blow outs. A different "mind set" is required, like that in the nuclear industry, that no "spills" or contamination is allowed.

EveningStarNM | Jun. 9, 2010
DK, that is an incredibly ignorant comment. Its not about hating the oil industry. Its about accepting that corporations have one job and one job only: To maximize profits while minimizing expenses. BP obviously thought it was in their interest to ignore safety regulations, an act that killed eleven people and resulted in the biggest man-made environmental disaster ever, and one that is an extinction level event for wide stretches of the Gulf coast.

That you choose to ignore those facts, that you choose to ignore the needs of actual human beings so that you can maximize your dividends -- no matter who loses their lives for your trivial comfort -- demonstrates a level of self-centeredness and callousness that is more disgusting than any decent person can imagine.

Dennis | Jun. 9, 2010
Obama SUCKS.... That is all... DM

BL | Jun. 9, 2010
Couple of things come to mind:
1) CEOs for deepwater will ultimately need to be PE PE otherwise many, if not most, will not be qualified to attest to the certification that is required of them

2) PE certification of casing and cement design is absurd. Regardless of the certification of the cement design, the design can ultimately be pumped out of spec. Also, what are the well-specific casing design requirements? What is the condition of the casing after run and drilled through? Many PEs are not very qualified to call themselves such - it has very little to do with their skill set as an engineer.

There are other issues listed that are knee-jerk reaction. Does this mean nitrofied cement jobs are going to be outlawed in the reservoir? The Deepwater Horizon incident is similar to most catastrophic disasters in that it is not one item that results in the incident but a combination of events in the proper series. While these items may help, they certainly are far from answering the quest for a zero probability panacea.

Ken Salazar is an idiot and him signing off on these things proves that he is out of his league when it comes to risk assessment and mitigation.

C. C. | Jun. 9, 2010
I feel that in a situation as encountered with the Deep water Horizon, there should also be a secondary method of closing the BOP. A system with similar capabilities of the acoustic control system along with the addition of satellite communications system that in case the rig doesnt have power as the case of the Horizon, a button could be pushed in an office of the drilling contractor with limited access to same could operate the BOP. This would be a separate system completely interdependent of all other functions in operation. The accumulator system should be able to operate for 15 min. continuous with a loss of no more than 1500 psi on the accumulator system. It should be capable of cutting an 8" or 9" drill collar.

b2995 | Jun. 9, 2010
I agree with DK... I dont think this administration is thinking clearly about what is best for our country. Did they shut down all coal mining after the Massey disaster? Nope!

Were struggling to bounce back from a recession and hes going to send our jobs oversea?! Those rigs are NOT coming back once they leave the GOM! Everyone is trying to hunker down but there was one thing we learned this past 1+ years of recession...stock prices matter more than our jobs...

I think the Obama administration and the Democrats just signed THEIR jobs away!

DK | Jun. 9, 2010
Democrats love to hate the oil industry. Of course the bulk of folks complaining about the oil industry are still driving their cars - everyday. If you consume the product we produce and are complaining - shut up. You are a hypocrite.

While the govt sits around discussing safety regs this country is losing oil and gas jobs and rigs are moving overseas. The Deepwater Horizon event was an accident and the probability of it happening again is greatly reduced. The risk is acceptable... unless you work for Greenpeace and prefer to shut down the oil and gas industry altogether.

After 9/11, Bush put planes back in the sky after 2 days. At least he understood the economic ramifications.... and that was an even bigger disaster. Thousands of lives lost and much bigger safety concerns.

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