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API Highlights Adoption of Industry Standards in Proposed Well Control Rule


Brian Straessle | 202.682.8114 | straessleb@api.org


WASHINGTON, July 17, 2015 – API welcomed the federal government’s effort to align regulations for offshore well control with industry standards in comments filed today with the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE). API also cautioned that the unintended consequences of some elements of the proposed rule could make offshore operations less safe.

“We share the government’s goal of enhancing offshore safety while producing more oil and natural gas here at home,” said Erik Milito, API upstream group director. “Offshore oil and natural gas development in the U.S. is safer than ever before thanks to the diligent, continuous efforts of industry and regulators.”

API has published more than 100 new or revised standards for exploration and production in the last five years. The industry also formed the Center for Offshore Safety in 2011, and the government has updated its regulations multiple times since 2010.

The well control rule proposed by BSEE incorporates a number of API standards, including API Standard 53, Blowout Prevention Equipment Systems for Drilling Wells. Published in November 2012, this document updated and strengthened an existing standard to prioritize consistent procedures, preventive maintenance, inspections and testing for blowout preventers.

“In many ways, BSEE’s proposal acknowledges how the industry has taken the lead to improve safety,” said Milito. “Unfortunately, certain aspects of the rule, if not fixed, could have unintended consequences that increase the risk to people and the environment.”

API reiterated its commitment to remaining engaged with the government to ensure the final rule enhances safety and promotes continuous improvement through innovation.

“Our industry works every day to continually enhance the safety of operations offshore,” said Milito. “API will continue to work closely with the administration to ensure that every piece of the final rule makes a measurable improvement to safety.”

API represents all segments of America’s oil and natural gas industry. Its more than 625 members produce, process, and distribute most of the nation’s energy. The industry also supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy.

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BSEE Proposed Well Control Rule Cost and Economic Analysis

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