WASHINGTON, Sept. 20 (UPI) -- U.S. regulators announced that energy company Petrobras America passed the first surprise oil spill response test conducted since last year's gulf disaster.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement said it carried out its first unannounced spill test since the Deepwater Horizon accident last year in the Gulf of Mexico. The so-called table top test imagined a loss of well control in a hypothetical deep-water location.
BOEMRE Director Mike Bromwich said the tests ensure oil and gas companies working on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf are doing so in the most responsible manner.
"The Spill Drill Program can help us validate that operators are appropriately trained in effective containment deployment," he said in a statement.
A gas explosion sunk the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico last year, killing 11 workers and causing one of the worst oil spills in the history of the industry.
The regulator said its choice of Petrobras was based on such factors as the number of oil producing facilities, production volume and proximity to sensitive areas.
Petrobras, in March, announced BOEMRE granted it final approval for work in the Gulf of Mexico, saying the decision highlighted "the collaboration between the industry and the U.S. government for the safe production of energy resources in the country."