The U.S. President Trump administration is reportedly looking to roll back a number of safety regulations related to offshore drilling activities put in place after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that this rollback in safety measures would reduce the government’s role in offshore oil production and return more responsibility to private companies.
The U.S. offshore oil and gas regulator, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), estimated that the proposed changes could save the oil industry about $900 million over the next ten years, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The newspaper also stated that the safety bureau had proposed rolling back a requirement that government regulators review real-time production data from oil companies, as well as a requirement that the regulators approve critical drilling equipment – like the blowout preventer that failed in the Deepwater Horizon case – from third-party vendors.
The BSEE has also ordered the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to suspend all work on a study to review and update the bureau’s offshore oil and gas operations inspection program to enhance safety.
The order, dated December 7, said that within 90 days the stop-work order would either be lifted and work on the study could resume, or the contract to perform the study would be terminated.
The committee conducting the study held its first and only meeting in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 26-27. Future meetings planned to be held in the Gulf of Mexico region have been put on hold.
The National Academies expressed its disappointed that the study had been stopped.
Offshore Energy Today Staff