U.S. coordinating offshore safety strategy

Aug. 26, 2013 at 8:11 AM
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 26 (UPI) -- The U.S. Department of Energy said it was teaming up with the Interior Department to coordinate efforts to ensure safe offshore oil and gas production.

The Department of Energy's Office of Fossil Energy said it signed a memorandum of understanding with the Interior Department's Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement to coordinate on offshore research and technological improvement projects.

Department of Energy Assistant Secretary Christopher Smith said the measure ensures research and development programs at his agency are related directly to BSEE's regulation regimes.

"We will continue to prevent duplication and increase the effectiveness of our ability to create a regulatory environment that fosters the safe and responsible development of the nation's energy resources," BSEE Director James Watson said in a statement Friday.

The BSEE issued a 149-page overhaul of rules related to safety and pollution prevention on the outer continental shelf last week.

The two agencies said they would work together on lessons learned from the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, one of the worst tragedies in the history of the oil industry.

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