New Zealand HSE regulations revision
IADC has submitted comments to the New Zealand Department of Labour commenting on its review of the Health and Safety in Employment (Petroleum Exploration and Extraction) Regulations of 1999. The letter, sent by IADC VP – offshore technical and regulatory affairs Alan Spackman, noted that IADC intends to assess its HSE Case Guidelines for MODUs against the revised New Zealand regulatory requirements when they are promulgated. The IADC guidelines will be revised as appropriate, with a new section to assist members in assuring compliance.
Irish agency urged to reconsider regulations
IADC is among several industry organizations that the Irish Offshore Operators’ Association (IOOA) has recommended to meet with Ireland’s National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), with the purpose of discussing proposals to protect marine mammals from man-made sound sources. The IOOA believes that the proposed changes are likely to result in drilling operations and seismic surveys taking substantially longer while offering little, if any, additional protection to marine life.
IOOA suggested that, before the Draft Guidance is finalized, a meeting with IADC, IOOA, OGP and the International Association of Geophysical Contractors be held. Interpretation and application of the Draft Guidance should be discussed, and alternative approaches to protect marine mammals should be explored.
IMO committee actions
Mr Spackman recently attended the 90th session the IMO Marine Safety Committee (MSC), where several actions were approved:
• The MSC has directed its Sub-Committee on Dangerous Goods, Solid Cargoes and Containers to develop amendments to the IMO MODU Codes to ensure that the provisions of the recently approved Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) regulations requiring periodic confined space rescue drills are extended to MODUs.
• The Marshall Islands, Vanuatu, IADC and the International Marine Contractors Association, the MSC has directed that the Sub-Committee on Standards of Training and Watchkeeping to revise Resolution A.891(21) on Recommendations on training of personnel on mobile offshore units.
• The MSC also directed the Sub-Committee on Ship Design and Equipment to develop amendments to MSC/Circ.645 on guidelines for vessels with dynamic positioning systems.
• In approving new SOLAS regulations aimed at prohibiting chemical processing onboard ships at sea, the committee also accepted amendments to the proposed regulation that exempted offshore oil industry vessels from the SOLAS amendments. Had the exemption not been included, the SOLAS regulations could have been interpreted to prohibit onboard mixing of downhole fluids and cements.