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API supports Interior Efforts to Enhance Offshore Safety

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WASHINGTON, April 27, 2018 – Following the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement’s (BSEE) announcement regarding proposed revisions to Blowout Preventer Systems and Well Control Rules, API Director of Upstream and Industry Operations Erik Milito applauded Interior’s work on revising flawed regulations to promote safer offshore operations.

“BSEE’s decision to revise its technically flawed Well Control Rule will help to strengthen safer offshore operations,” said Milito. “These revisions will move us forward on safety, help the government better regulate risks and better protect workers and the environment.”

“As with all regulations, it is important that offshore safety regulations – including BSEE’s Well Control Rule - constantly evolve and are revised based upon new insights and developments in the offshore exploration and development field. Instead of locking in regulatory provisions that may actually increase risk in operations, it is critical that revisions are made that enhance the regulatory framework to ensure updated, modern, and safe technologies, best practices, and operations.”

Over the past several years, API and the broader industry have worked closely with the U.S. Department of the Interior in support of numerous new rules, regulatory enhancements, standards and safety programs.  The result of these efforts is demonstrated through tangible steps by the industry and the regulator to significantly improve our capability to prevent, contain, and respond to a potential offshore incident.  A few examples include the Center for Offshore Safety, the Marine Well Containment Company, HWCG, new API standards on well containment and blowout prevention equipment, and Interior’s drilling safety rule and safety and environmental management systems rule.  In fact, in May of 2010, the offshore oil and natural gas industry, through its Joint Industry Task Force, provided recommendations to Interior on ways to enhance the regulatory system, the majority of which were ultimately codified into regulation.   

API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the oil and natural gas industry, which supports 10.3 million U.S. jobs and nearly 8 percent of the U.S. economy. API’s more than 625 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 40 million Americans.