MMS Completes Rig Inspections

The U.S. Department of the Interior's Minerals Management Service (MMS) has completed its inspection of all 30 deepwater drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, the MMS' director for the Gulf of Mexico Region reported Saturday.

Lars Herbst, head of MMS' New Orleans-based office that oversees Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) oil and gas development, said that the rig inspections yielded no major safety violations. Now, MMS is focused on inspecting the 47 deepwater production facilities in the Gulf.

Herbst said the production facility inspections should conclude in approximately one month. He expects this phase of the federally mandated safety probe of deepwater facilities to be more time-consuming given the myriad safety devices that exist on production platforms.