U.S. clarifies rules on offshore work

Dec. 14, 2010 at 6:06 AM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- Clarification on the guidelines for oil and gas exploration on the U.S. continental shelf supports safety and environmental issues, a federal regulator said.

The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement released guidelines for meeting the drilling safety requirements for work on the Outer Continental Shelf.

The bureau said the purpose of the 18-page document was to "summarize and clarify certain information" regarding offshore work. Specifically, the agency said it was providing "helpful information" regarding the steps needed to use offshore rigs equipped with a blowout preventer.

"As we continue to strengthen oversight and safety and environmental protections, we must ensure that the oil and gas industry has clear direction on what is expected," said BOEM Director Michael Bromwich in a statement. "Following discussions with members of the oil and gas industry, it is clear that this information will assist in their implementation of the stronger safety and environmental standards we have put in place."

Norwegian classification society DNV is working on a contract from the U.S. government to examine failed components of the Macondo well from the Gulf of Mexico.

The Macondo well failed in April, causing gas to erupt, ignite and sink the Deepwater Horizon oil platform off the coast of Louisiana.

DNV said it was contracted to carry out a forensic examination of the blowout preventer and lower marine riser cap.

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