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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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Seismic Surveys 101

seismic survey  Offshore  Oil and Gas  development  spill 

Kate Wallace

Kate Lowery
Posted November 8, 2016

With a series of public hearings on proposed federal rules for offshore seismic testing scheduled to begin this week, let’s take a look at the basics on the safe technologies and procedures used to survey for oil and natural gas reserves. These are key as the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) conducts hearings in New Orleans (Nov. 9), Gulfport, Miss. (Nov. 10), Fort Walton Beach, Fla. (Nov. 14), Mobile, Ala. (Nov. 15) and Houston (Nov. 17).

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Denying Access to Energy Denies Safety, Prosperity, Opportunity

access  oil and natural gas development  offshore oil production  alaska  regulation  us energy security 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted December 11, 2015

Then there’s this from Alaska: Falling oil revenues have the governor in that energy-rich state asking his legislature to plug a $3.5 billion hole in the state budget by imposing a small income tax (Alaska hasn’t had one for 35 years), other tax hikes, budget cuts and a reduction in the annual dividend Alaskans get from the state’s Permanent Fund.

Now, it might not bother you much that Alaskans soon could be paying higher taxes. But there’s another story playing out in Alaska and other places that should trouble all Americans: Access to U.S. energy is being restricted – by policy and regulation – in ways that could imperil America’s energy revolution and the generational opportunities that are being created by that revolution.

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Energy to Fuel Job Growth, Increase U.S. Security

news  job creation  energy exports  gasoline prices  pennsylvania severance tax  arctic  offshore oil drilling  alaska  natural gas benefits 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted June 2, 2015

The Huffington Post (Sean McGarvey): The American job market is the best it's been in six years, according to the latest government data. The jobless rate is below 6 percent for the first time since 2008.

And in 2013, the United States became the world's top producer of oil and natural gas – surpassing Russia and Saudi Arabia.

This U.S. energy boom is creating many new jobs here in America, and it's a leading contributor to American workers' vaulting out of the unemployment line and into the middle class. Our leaders must continue to support domestic energy exploration, which is proving our nation's strongest job-growth engine.

According to the American Petroleum Institute, investments in updating U.S. energy infrastructure alone could generate an estimated $1.14 trillion in capital investments – creating both jobs and energy savings from now until 2025.

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Access and Energizing the Energy Revolution

oil and natural gas development  oil production  shale energy  hydraulic fracturing  arctic  oil sands  pipeline construction  offshore oil production  safe operations 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted April 6, 2015

MarketWatch:  U.S. oil production is on track to reach an annual all-time high by September of this year, according to Rystad Energy.

If production does indeed top out, then supply levels may soon hit a peak as well. That, in turn, could lead to shrinking supplies.

The oil-and-gas consulting-services firm estimates an average 2015 output of 9.65 million barrels a day will be reached in five months — topping the previous peak annual reading of 9.64 million barrels a day in 1970.

Coincidentally, the nation’s crude inventories stand at a record 471.4 million barrels, based on data from U.S. Energy Information Administration, also going back to the 1970s.

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Energy Investments That Produce for America

offshore oil production  gulf of mexico  chevron  methane emissions  federal revenues  access  arctic  pipelines 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted December 3, 2014

New Orleans Times-Picayune: After more than a decade of work and a $7.5 billion investment, Chevron has started oil and gas production at its Jack and St. Malo fields in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The fields are among the largest in the region, expected to produce more than 500 million barrels of oil equivalent over the next three decades.

The Jack and St. Malo fields, discovered in 2003 and 2004 respectively, are located 25 miles apart in the Walker Ridge region of the Gulf about 280 miles south of New Orleans.

Oil and gas from the fields will flow back to a single, floating production platform located between the two fields. The platform has the capacity to produce up to 170,000 barrels of oil and 42 million cubic feet of natural gas per day.

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Why 75% is an ‘F’

outer continental shelf  offshore oil  natural gas  gulf of mexico 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted January 31, 2012

“…tonight, I’m directing my administration to open more than 75 percent of our potential offshore oil and gas resources.” -  President Obama 2012 State of the Union

So, 75 percent – that must be good, right?  Well, not exactly.  Let’s take a look at what the Proposed Outer Continental Shelf Oil & Gas Leasing Program 2012-2017 actually provides:

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Offshore Drilling Can Resume for 13 Companies

access  bakken shale  boemre  boemre  deepwater drilling  deepwater drilling moratorium  domestic energy  drilling permits  eagle ford shale  energy information administration  energy policy  gulf of mexico  moratorium  offshore drilling  offshore drilling moratorium  oil production  permits  offshore oil production 

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted January 3, 2011

The administration announced today that 13 oil and natural gas companies can resume deepwater drilling activities in the Gulf of Mexico without submitting revised exploration or development plans for supplemental environmental reviews. 

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U.S. Offshore Drilling Delays Likely; Russia to Drill in Cuba

access  deepwater drilling  deepwater drilling moratorium  domestic energy  energy policy  gulf of mexico  interior department  leasing  moratorium  offshore drilling  offshore oil  offshore oil production  cuba  eis  gazprom  gulf leases  lease sale  offshore oil drilling 

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted November 16, 2010

The Interior Department's plan to complete supplemental environmental reviews could prevent the U.S. government from holding a Gulf of Mexico lease sale next year, making 2011 the first year since 1965 that no Gulf leases would be sold for U.S. offshore oil production. 

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