Industry Opposes Push To Tighten Oilfield Safety RulesSource: Fuel Fix | 17 April 2014
More than a dozen oil companies and trade groups have lined up to oppose plans to broaden the federal government’s oversight of safety practices at wells, saying existing standards are enough to protect workers nationwide.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration would be foolish to force new and producing wells to satisfy process safety management standards that have governed other industrial operations for decades, said the American Petroleum Institute, Dallas-based Pioneer Natural Resources, the Texas Oil and Gas Association, and other groups in comments filed with the agency.
“Applying (process safety management) to the exploration and production segment of the oil and gas industry is like prescribing painkillers for a paper cut,” said Rick Muncrief, senior vice president of operations for Oklahoma City-based Continental Resources.
The possible new regulations—now at the beginning stages of government consideration—are driven by concerns that reported deaths in the industry nationwide reached a 10-year high in 2012, and that the ongoing domestic drilling boom is putting more workers in harm’s way.