Fuelfix | 3 March 2016
Top US Official Says Adjustments Made on Offshore Drilling Rule Following “Alarmist” Industry Response
A new federal rule designed to reduce the chance of another offshore drilling accident off the Gulf coast like Deepwater Horizon has undergone some “adjustments” in response to intense industry criticism, a top US energy official told a House subcommittee on 2 March.
In this April 2010 file photo, oil can be seen in the Gulf of Mexico, more than 50 miles southeast of Venice on Louisiana’s tip, as a large plume of smoke rises from fires on BP’s Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)
Brian Salerno, director of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, said changes to the new offshore drilling standards had merely codified what was standard practice at his agency—that inspectors did not rigidly follow the letter of the law but worked with operators on offshore drilling rigs to find safe and reasonable solutions.
“There’s been a lot of alarmist language associated with this,” Salerno said, following a hearing before the House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources. “To believe it you would have to ignore the way this agency has historically operated.”
Salerno declined to go into specific changes, citing the fact that what is known as the well control rule is still under review at the Office of Management and Budget.
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