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Jack Gerard's remarks at press briefing on industry improvements to offshore safety

Press briefing on industry improvements to offshore safety
Jack Gerard, API President and CEO
Thursday, April 9, 2015

Opening statement as prepared for delivery:

Good morning,

The benefits of America’s energy renaissance are undeniable. Producing more oil and natural gas here at home has not only grown our economy. It has strengthened our national security and made the U.S. a world leader in energy.

One thing makes all of this possible: the ability to develop our energy resources safely and responsibly.

In the five years since the tragic events at the Macondo Prospect in the Gulf of Mexico, America’s oil and natural gas industry and our regulators have kept our commitment to make offshore operations safer than ever before.

Immediately following the incident, the industry launched a comprehensive review of offshore safety measures and practices. We identified areas for improvement to strengthen accident prevention, intervention and response capabilities, and we have relentlessly pursued that work.

One of API’s primary roles is the development of industry standards. Since 2010, we have published more than 100 new and revised standards for well design, blowout prevention equipment, worker safety and other elements of exploration and production.

In 2011, we also launched the Center for Offshore Safety or COS, which is devoted entirely to fostering safety culture and sharing best practices and lessons learned throughout the industry. COS has been instrumental in helping companies build enhanced safety programs, which are based on an API industry standard and now required by federal regulations.

A report published this week by COS on its members’ operations in 2013 show they did not suffer a single fatality or loss of well control over the course of more than 42 million work hours.

That is a marker we must build and improve upon every single day.

The industry’s overall safety record was strong before Macondo, and the co-chairs of President Obama’s national spill commission were absolutely right when they said that offshore drilling is now even safer.

We will continue to build on these achievements because our goal is zero accidents and zero spills. Our daily commitment is one of constant improvement until that goal becomes reality.

The millions of men and women who work in our industry – and all Americans whose lives are powered by oil and natural gas – deserve no less.

Now, I’ll turn the floor over to Randall Luthi from the National Ocean Industries Association.