Brian Salerno, the director of U. S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) made two announcements during a press conference at the Offshore Technology Conference yesterday, on May 5, about reducing the risks associated with offshore oil and gas operations.
First, Director Salerno announced the launch of the SafeOCS program, an initiative aimed at collecting and analyzing “near miss” data. Second, he released BSEE’s first-ever Annual Report, which presents the agency’s analysis of offshore activities, trends, indicators, incidents, and other key data points, said BSEE.
The Bureau also said that it is working to identify all available methods to learn more about the causes of all serious offshore incidents. At the conference, BSEE formally launched their SafeOCS, an Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) near-miss reporting system, with the activation of the program’s reporting line, 1-844-738-9OCS. According to BSEE, the program’s official website will be available next month.
Brian Salerno said: “I strongly encourage participation in the system by the entire offshore community as a way to help improve the overall safety posture of the industry. Shared awareness of safety trends will better equip everyone to focus on the right things and thereby drive down the risk of serious incidents.”
BSEE explains that SafeOCS is a voluntary and completely confidential system, in which the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) will collect and analyze near-miss reports submitted by individual OCS workers, companies, and others. The aggregated data will be shared with the general public through the BTS website, and used to identify safety trends and increase understanding of offshore risk.
The BSEE 2014 Annual Report summarizes oil and gas activities from the past years, presents comparisons to previous years, and describes BSEE’s analysis of trends. The Annual Report also outlines current BSEE initiatives and the agency’s plans to reduce risk in the coming year.
“Part of managing risk is monitoring the trends we are seeing offshore, and gauging the effectiveness of our approach. We are pleased to see that some of the most serious incidents offshore, including fatalities, are decreasing. But our work is far from done. For example, the Annual Report observes an increase in loss of well control events. That’s troubling, given the potential for such incidents to have grave consequences,” Salerno concluded.