The oil and natural gas industry and the federal government have together taken great strides to enhance the safety of offshore drilling operations.
Important officials such as U.S. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, Governor Mark Warner of Virginia, and Governor Pat McCrory of North Carolina are supporting offshore oil and natural gas developing in the Atlantic.
Seismic testing has been safely used in the U.S. and around the world for decades to locate potential new sources of hydrocarbon energy. But as the federal government prepares to allow seismic surveys off the Atlantic Coast, groups opposed to oil and natural gas development are actively spreading misinformation.
As required by the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, the U.S. Department of the Interior has a well-established process in place for managing offshore oil and natural gas leasing, exploration and development. With multiple environmental analyses and opportunities for stakeholder input, this process helps to balance the nation’s need for energy with strong environmental safeguards.
In response to the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) incident, the U.S. oil and natural gas industry launched a comprehensive review of offshore safety. Four Joint Industry Task Forces (JITFs) were assembled to focus on critical areas of GOM offshore activity: the Joint Industry Offshore Operating Procedures Task Force, the Joint Industry Offshore Equipment Task Force, the Joint Industry Subsea Well Control and Containment Task Force, and the Joint Industry Oil Spill Preparedness and Response Task Force.
In addition to the developing technologies for exploration and production of oil and natural gas, new concepts in deepwater systems and facilities have emerged to make ultra-deepwater projects a reality.
Since 2010, government and industry have made a continuous effort to enhance safety offshore. Together, we have improved regulations and operational standards to effectively protect workers and the environment and ensure designs are robust and equipment operates as expected.