The US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) will establish an independent Ocean Energy Safety Institute to further enhance safe and responsible operations across the offshore oil and gas industry. The institute will provide a forum for dialogue, shared learning and cooperative research among academia, government, industry and other non-government organizations in offshore-related technologies and activities that ensure safe operations with limited impact to the environment.
“The Institute will help federal regulators keep pace with new processes employed by the industry as they move into deeper water and deeper geologic plays that require technological innovation to bring projects into production,” Rear Admiral James Watson, director of BSEE, said. “I look forward to expanding the dialogue and engagement with additional stakeholders to identify and reduce risks to worker safety and the environment.” Interested applicants should register with the grants.gov website to submit an application.
The institute stems from a recommendation from the Ocean Energy Safety Advisory Committee (OESC), a federal advisory group comprised of representatives from industry, federal government agencies, non-governmental organizations and the academic community. The recommendation calls for establishing a body that will provide a program of research, technical assistance and education and serve as a center of expertise in oil and gas exploration, development and production technology. The institute will be an important source of unbiased, independent information and will not have any regulatory authority over the offshore industry.
“As offshore energy development becomes more complex, every effort should be made to make sure it is done ever more safely,” said Dr Thomas O. Hunter, chair of the OESC and former Sandia National Laboratory director. “The Institute provides a unique opportunity for all engaged parties to work together to identify and deploy technology that will make a real and enduring difference. The time is right and the opportunity is clear.”