Q&A: The BSEE’s Latest OCS Safety Program Initiative
Following the Deepwater Horizon accident in April 2010, which led to the largest oil spill in US waters to date, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has strived to ensure the US outer continental shelf (OCS) never experiences a similar event.
In the years following the tragedy, the BSEE has launched numerous programs and regulations in a bid to increase safety on the OCS. Although some of these items were received better than others by the oil and gas industry, as evidenced by the sector’s lukewarm response to a proposed well-control rule in July last year, the organization’s unrelenting quest to improve offshore activity in the United States has undoubtedly changed the region for the better.
The BSEE revealed in its first ever annual report, released 5 May 2015, that fatalities on the OCS were at their lowest level for several years and that the total number of injuries recorded in the area had seen a gentle declining trend since 2007. The latest data showed that musters for evacuation on the OCS were also decreasing and that the number of fires/explosions in the region had reduced in four of the last 6 years.
Just last month, the BSEE launched its most recent safety program in an effort to improve its focus on offshore oil and gas facilities that exhibit a number of distinguishing risk factors. The pilot Risk-Based Inspection Program, which will complement the organization’s existing inspections and audits, will use a systematic approach relying on both a quantitative model and qualitative performance and risk-related data. BSEE will use performance and compliance data collected from annual inspection and Safety and Environmental Management Systems audits, as well as incident investigations and other reportable safety information, to help identify offshore production facilities with a higher risk profile.
In order to better understand the intricacies and implications of the BSEE’s latest safety program, Rigzone spoke to BSEE Director Brian Salerno.