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Energy Tomorrow Blog

For Public Health, Safe Operations in Colorado – And Everywhere

colorado  safe operations  industry standards  regulation  emission reductions 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted October 18, 2019

There’s nothing more important to our industry than protecting health and safety – of our skilled workers and the communities where they are engaged in supplying Americans with affordable energy for every aspect of modern life and economic well-being.

As energy companies, we know that maintaining the public’s trust and the permission to operate hinge on our ability to work safely and responsibly – caring for the environment, reducing our footprint and continually improving technologies and operations to reduce emissions.

This is the context as we consider a new report on the potential public health effects of natural gas and oil operations by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), using 2015 data to model impacts.

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Rigorous Science to Protect Public Health and Safety

public health  safe operations  science 

Uni Blake

Uni Blake
Posted September 4, 2019

The natural gas and oil industry cares about the health and safety of the communities where it operates. These are our homes and communities, too – places where we’re raising our families. Getting health and safety right is more than just business. It’s a major focus of our industry’s engagement with communities, as we earn and sustain the permission to safely develop natural gas and oil. 

As part of this engagement, industry is mindful of the safety, health and welfare of surrounding communities, to ensure careful decision-making related to our health and safety responsibilities. We’re guided by high-quality science. We employ and work with scientists, including toxicologists and epidemiologists, so that our analyses are well-founded.

As a scientist myself, let me be clear: We must rely on real science as a basis for sound decision-making so that as we operate the public and the environment are protected. Unscientific material – such as opinion pieces, unfinished studies and misinformation campaigns – isn’t helpful to this process, creates false narratives and can skew public perceptions.  

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Trans-Alaska Pipeline Inspected by First FAA-Approved Beyond-Visual-Line-of-Sight UAS

technology innovation  Pipeline  alaska  safe operations 

Sam Winstel

Sam Winstel
Posted August 16, 2019

Researchers at the University of Alaska Fairbanks made history last month by completing the first true beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) flight under the small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) rule. The team flew a long-range hybrid-electric unmanned aircraft nearly four miles along the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) as part of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) UAS Integration Pilot Program – and in partnership with Alyeska Pipeline Service Company.

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Safe + Sound Operations Built on Industry Standards

Safety  standards  safe operations  safety standards 

Sam Winstel

Sam Winstel
Posted August 14, 2019

API is proud to again partner with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to host the agency’s annual “Safe + Sound Week,” a nationwide event focused on raising awareness and understanding of the importance of safety and health programs in the workplace.

It’s an initiative the natural gas and oil industry fully appreciates and works continuously to advance. Safety is a core industry commitment. It’s fundamental to protecting our workers, the communities that host natural gas and oil development and the environment, each of which help sustain our permission to operate.  

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New Bolting Standard Advances Safety in Industry Operations

api standards program  safe operations 

Debra Phillips

Debra Phillips
Posted August 12, 2019

API’s new bolting standard recognizes the critical role that fittings, bolts, screws and other components play in the safe operation of the industry’s exploration and production activities around the world.

Our oil and natural gas companies are present in nearly every conceivable environment. From the icy cold of the tundra to the deserts and oceans, API members require durable steel components that won’t fail them in these tough conditions, while supporting safe and reliable operations.

That’s why we issued API TR 21RT1, “Materials Selection for Bolting.” The new standard makes it easier for companies to select the right equipment for certain environmental conditions.

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Flaring, Infrastructure and Embracing the Dual Challenge

natural gas  methane emissions  emission reductions  climate  safe operations 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted August 8, 2019

Our country needs abundant energy AND climate progress – both of them, continuing to advance together, as they have in the U.S. in recent years. Embracing the dual challenge of making energy abundant and accessible while reducing energy-related emissions is the realistic path to growth and opportunity that can broadly benefit the nation and the lives of individual Americans.

Certainly, our industry is focused on new innovations and technologies that continue to reduce emissions from natural gas and oil production and improve the environmental performance of our operations and facilities. …

The objective is continued progress. High-production areas, including the Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico and the Bakken in North Dakota and Montana, need additional pipeline infrastructure to take away natural gas when it accompanies oil production. More infrastructure could reduce the amount of flaring – regulated, limited burning of methane – that takes place.

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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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Updated Federal Review is Critical to Robust Energy Infrastructure

pipelines  permitting  permian basin  safe operations  energy  infrastructure 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted April 29, 2019

The administration is right: Robust U.S. supplies of natural gas and oil offer great economic opportunity for this nation – requiring robust infrastructure to deliver energy to Americans in all parts of the country. …

It’s very important for Americans to understand that more efficient federal and state permitting for infrastructure projects includes continued regulatory oversight and thorough environmental review by government agencies. Cutting “red tape” will help solve the problem of “energy disparity” in America by providing energy to currently under-served regions, without compromising environmental protection or public safety.

Updating the federal review and permitting process is critical for safe and responsible pipeline construction and operation.


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Offshore Energy: 10 Key Ways Operations Have Been Strengthened

safe operations  safety standards  offshore drilling safety  bsee  regulations  spill 

Erik Milito

Erik Milito
Posted April 17, 2019

With the Trump administration nearing release of a new five-year offshore leasing plan for oil and natural gas, offshore energy has never been safer or stronger – thanks to initiatives and technologies designed to enhance worker safety and protect the environment. (See this post dispelling offshore energy myths.) Below, 10 important developments that have strengthened the vitally important work of harnessing America’s offshore energy.

1. Center for Offshore Safety

The Center for Offshore Safety (COS) is an industry-led initiative to promote continuous safety improvement for offshore drilling, completions and operations through effective leadership, communication, teamwork, disciplined management systems and independent third-party auditing and certification. 

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Safe or Safer Offshore Regulatory Compliance

offshore safety  safe operations  bsee  offshore technology  innovation  spill 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted February 28, 2019

Months before the federal offshore well control rule went into effect in July 2016, API told Congress the safety regulation could actually increase risks associated with offshore oil and natural gas development – that its rigid requirements could stifle innovation and thwart the effectiveness of new operational technologies.

The 2016 rule is an example of “prescriptive” regulation, a one-size-fits-all approach that requires certain processes, procedures and tests. It was and is the wrong approach for offshore safety – mainly because every oil and natural gas well has different characteristics: geology, depth, water pressure and temperature and other variables that factor into developing the best safety plan for a particular well.

In that context offshore operators seek government-approved alternative compliance paths – which they’ve done since the rule’s launch in 2016, when the Obama administration was in charge of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), the overseer of offshore safety. Indeed, the requests show the rule needs fixing.

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