BSEE releases final offshore drilling safety rule

Posted on 16 August 2012

The US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) issued a final offshore drilling safety rule on 15 August. The rule finalizes safety reforms put in place after the Macondo spill to strengthen requirements for safety equipment, well control systems and blowout prevention practices on offshore oil and gas operations.

“This rule is based on input from stakeholders and recommendations from the numerous investigations related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill,” Jim Watson, BSEE director, said. “This action builds on the lessons learned from that tragedy.”

The drilling safety rule establishes new standards for casing and cementing, including integrity testing requirements; third-party certification and verification requirements; blowout preventer (BOP) capability, testing and documentation obligations; and standards for specific well control training to include deepwater operations.

The final rule addresses requirements for compliance with documents incorporated by reference; enhancing the description and classification of well control barriers; defining testing requirements for cement; clarifying requirements for the installation of dual mechanical barriers; and extending requirements for BOPs and well control fluids to well completions, workovers and decommissioning operations.

The final drilling safety rule will be published in the Federal Register Reading Room and can be viewed here.

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