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Center for Offshore Safety names Charlie Williams as executive director

Posted on 08 March 2012

The governing board of the Center for Offshore Safety (COS) has announced Charlie Williams as executive director to lead the COS in its ongoing commitment to the safe development of deepwater offshore natural resources. “We have assembled the best and the brightest minds to help ensure we develop America’s vast resources in the safest manner possible,” Mr Williams said. “Our top priority is to develop practices and programs that will help operators perform at their very best in implementing safety and environmental management systems.”

Mr Williams joins the COS after 40 years with Shell, where he most recently served as chief scientist of well engineering and production technology since 2005. His work has included helping to develop high-pressure, high-temperature wells and specialized drilling and completion equipment for extreme environments such as deepwater. He currently chairs the Joint Industry Task Force on subsea containment and is on the operating committee of the Marine Well Containment Project, the Executive Board of the Marine Well Containment Company and the Department of Interior’s Offshore Energy Safety Advisory Committee.

The COS governing board, made up of operators, drilling contractors, service and supply contractors, and trade association representatives, is implementing programs to help deepwater operators execute the most advanced safety and environmental management oversight systems. This includes implementation of an audit checklist and third-party audits so operators can assess the effectiveness and implementation of these systems, which are based on API’s Recommend Practice 75. This practice provides an outline for creating and implementing leading safety management programs and is referenced in the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) work place safety regulation.

“We welcome Williams to lead on this very important effort. His 40-year career has made his name synonymous with offshore safety,” API president and CEO Jack Gerard said. “Safe, responsible development of our offshore oil and natural gas is critical for US energy security, and it provides US families and businesses with affordable and reliable energy for our future.”

One of the core functions of the COS is the utilization of independent third-party audits. Operator program auditing is a key part of BSEE rules. Through this auditing effort, the COS will help the industry operate safely in the Gulf of Mexico by sharing safety and environmental information to drive industry practices, standards enhancement and safety management.

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