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API: Final Well Control Rule should support strong safety process

Reid Porter | | 202.682.8114

WASHINGTON, April 14, 2016 – API said it is reviewing the final Well Control Rule issued by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) and the government’s alignment with the industry’s leadership on safety. API cautioned that elements of the initial proposal were found to have technical problems and, if left unchanged, could make offshore operations less safe.

“We are committed to safe operations and support efforts by the government to build upon the progress already made by the industry on safety,” said Erik Milito, API upstream group director. “We must make sure that technical changes were made to aspects of the government’s initial proposal that could have made offshore operations less safe.”

Included among the list of concerns filed in last year’s comments was the recommendation by the government to shift operational decision making from rig site personnel to offsite personnel. The industry believes that onsite personnel have the best understanding and most complete picture of the current operation, key risks, and critical considerations. 

“Offshore oil and natural gas development in the U.S. is safer than ever before thanks to diligent, continuous industry leadership and efforts of industry and regulators,” said Milito. “It is imperative that BSEE ensure any new regulatory requirement does not unnecessarily erode the strong safety and national security gains that have been achieved in the last half decade. 

“Energy development in the Gulf of Mexico has helped make the U.S. the number one producer of oil and natural gas in the world, and has made us energy secure. This rule will affect every offshore energy project for years to come. It is essential to get it right.”

API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the oil and natural gas industry, which supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy. API’s more than 650 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms. They provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 30 million Americans.

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