New Offshore Safety Rules Would Make Drilling Some Wells Too Difficult, Industry Lobbyists Tell White House
The oil industry is blasting an Obama administration plan to better safeguard offshore exploration, arguing that the Deepwater Horizon-inspired proposal imposes costly and “ill-advised” mandates that could make some wells impossible to drill.
The Interior Department’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement rule, unveiled in April, aims to prevent a repeat of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico disaster by codifying a number of voluntary steps that companies have already taken to better keep offshore wells in check.
But it goes further in laying out specific mandates for the design of wells and the emergency devices known as blowout preventers that are meant to serve as a final protection against uncontrolled surges of oil and gas.
A coalition of oil trade groups insists that the proposed rule goes too far by establishing “prescriptive new requirements that would impose unjustified economic burdens, discouraging economic growth (and) innovation” often without a clear rationale.”
And the groups—including the American Petroleum Institute, Independent Petroleum Association of America, and International Association of Drilling Contractors—insist that some of the proposed mandates “would introduce new risk rather than reduce (it).”