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Energy Tomorrow Blog

Q&A: New Center for Offshore Safety Director Talks Responsibilities, Goals

center for offshore safety  safe operations  offshore oil production 

John Siciliano

John D. Siciliano
Posted May 20, 2020

Capt. Russell Holmes is the Center for Offshore Safety’s (COS) new director after serving for nearly three decades with the U.S. Coast Guard.

Holmes, who retired from the Coast Guard in 2020, takes over for Charlie Williams, who had led the center since 2012 after a long industry career. Holmes will be taking the center’s mission of offshore safety and environmental protection into its second decade of existence.

The center was created soon after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico. Since then, the COS has enhanced the safety culture in offshore operations, while supporting federal regulations that mandate Safety and Environmental Management Systems (SEMS) at all operations on the Outer Continental Shelf.

Just prior to joining the center, Holmes served as the Coast Guard’s senior point of contact for offshore safety in the Gulf, overseeing marine inspection and investigation programs that ultimately support SEMS. As he explains in the Q&A below, Holmes says the industry’s professionalism and safety commitment matched his while he was serving as one of industry’s lead regulators.

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Q&A: Industry Leadership, Partnerships Make Offshore Safer Than Ever

offshore safety  bsee  api standards program  deepwater horizon 

John Siciliano

John D. Siciliano
Posted April 20, 2020

Today is the 10th anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico. A decade later, offshore energy development has never been safer, largely because of industry leadership in developing new technologies and creating a proactive safety management culture. This is critically important because the offshore accounts for 15% of U.S. oil production. Innovations in infrastructure and deep-sea equipment, plus rigorous safety training, safety protocols and the management tools to ensure those protocols are effective, reflect industry’s commitment to prevent such an incident, in which lives were lost, from happening again. In the Q&A that follows, Debra Phillips, API senior vice president for Global Industry Services, talks about what has been learned and industry’s responses – including hundreds of safety standards – to maximize offshore safety.


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Helping Build a Safe, Sustainable Energy Future for Guyana

api standards program  safe operations  offshore technology 

Debra Phillips

Debra Phillips
Posted November 18, 2019

As part of ongoing efforts to foster safe energy development around the world through the sharing of international industry standards and operational expertise, API is helping the country of Guyana as it builds its national energy plan – a key step in the South American nation becoming a major energy producer.

API and the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (IOGP) recently led talks in Guyana’s capital, Georgetown, after the Guyanese government asked for support as the country nears its first-ever oil production, expected in the first quarter of 2020.

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Offshore Energy Funds Conservation, Strengthens U.S. Economy

offshore energy  revenues  conservation  economic growth 

API CEO Mike Sommers

Mike Sommers
Posted November 7, 2019

Safe and responsible energy development drives economic growth and environmental progress, and by expanding exploration on federal lands and along the Outer Continental Shelf, the U.S. stands to generate billions of dollars in funding for infrastructure, education and conservation.

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Offshore Energy’s Fair Share

offshore development  royalty payments  gulf of mexico 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted October 24, 2019

As the New York Times launches another attack on congressionally mandated support for U.S. offshore development in the Gulf of Mexico, some facts are in order:

The Deep Water Royalty Relief Act enacted by Congress in 1995 was designed to help spur deep water offshore production as the U.S. faced increasing dependence on imported oil – and the courts found that its intent is clear. Background on the act here and here.

The false claim that there is a royalty relief “loophole,” asserted by the Times and others, omits the fact that between 2000 and 2018 natural gas and oil companies paid more than $122 billion to the government in high bids, royalties and rents. Add to that tens of billions the industry spent to develop those leases, creating jobs and boosting local and regional economies – an integral part of industry’s $1.3 trillion overall support for the U.S. economy.

Today, U.S. Gulf production is setting records, averaging 1.8 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2018 and expected by the government to reach 1.9 million b/d this year and 2 million b/d in 2020. This production generates millions in revenue-sharing dollars for coastal states, as well as the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which supports state conservation and outdoor recreation projects all across the country.


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New Integrity Management Standards Increase Offshore Safety

api standards program  offshore safety 

Debra Phillips

Debra Phillips
Posted September 24, 2019

As the U.S. will soon become a net exporter of total energy, API is continuing to lead the way on safety and environmental protection through the development of key industry standards.

Globally, offshore energy development is poised to grow, with significant new finds spurring the construction of some of the largest floating offshore production facilities ever built.

Just this past month, API released a suite of new Integrity Management (IM) standards outlining how floating production platforms should function to improve operational efficiency, safety, and environmental protection.

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U.S. Energy Empowers American Progress, Not Partisanship

natural gas  offshore access  obama administration 

Sam Winstel

Sam Winstel
Posted September 19, 2019

Borrowing from a line from a presidential campaign gone by, we’ll point out that Democrats were for natural gas and oil before they were against it. See the clips below of President Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Our homegrown energy revolution is delivering abundant, affordable and reliable energy for American consumers and strengthening an industry that supports 10.3 million well-paying U.S. jobs. As the world’s No. 1 producer of natural gas and oil, the U.S. is increasingly energy self-sufficient, which reinforces our domestic economy, national security and climate leadership.

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Offshore Energy and a Strategic Vision for U.S. Security

offshore access  safe operations  eastern gulf of mexico  atlantic ocs  pacific  spill 

Sam Winstel

Sam Winstel
Posted July 17, 2019

Legislation in Congress that could cripple future U.S. offshore energy development needs to be seen for the longer-term damage it could do to America’s strategic energy and national security.

One House bill would permanently extend a moratorium on development in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico; another would permanently bar leasing in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

Given projected growth in America’s energy needs, such shortsighted legislation fails the test of leadership in setting energy policy that will enhance and protect our nation’s strategic interests.


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Celebrating National Ocean Month

offshore platforms  offshore energy  rigs  spill 

Jessica  Lutz

Jessica Lutz
Posted June 6, 2019

Following past White House precedent, President Trump recently designated June 2019 as National Ocean Month in recognition of the ocean’s role in supporting the U.S. economy, national security and environment, while recommitting to safeguard its vital resources.

The U.S. offshore energy industry wholeheartedly supports the sentiments in the president’s proclamation and demonstrates this day in and day out.


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Youth, Brainpower and Meeting Energy’s Challenges

offshore technology conference  stem  energy future  spill 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted May 7, 2019

Four students from The Village School in Houston are winners of the Offshore Technology Conference’s high school competition, the OTC Energy Challenge, which focuses students on working on real-world issues. 

They represent the next generation of women and men who no doubt will be at the forefront of meeting future challenges associated with the production and use of energy.


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