BSEE Issues Safety Alert on the Deepwater Horizon Explosion and Oil Spill
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement recently issued a Safety Alert relating to the Macondo well blowout.
The Safety Alert was distributed to oil and gas leaseholders and contractors working on the Outer Continental Shelf. It briefly summarizes the findings of the Joint Investigation of the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill, and highlights recommendations for immediate action that leaseholders and contractors can incorporate into their work.
“We must ensure that the lessons learned from the investigation of the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill are widely disseminated and used to enhance the safety practices used by offshore oil and gas operators and contractors in their day-to-day activities,” said Michael R. Bromwich, the bureau’s director, in a press statement. “Issuing this Safety Alert to all oil and gas leaseholders and contractors is another method for BSEE to ensure that offshore operations are conducted in the most safe and environmentally-responsible manner.”
Safety Alerts are tools used by the bureau to inform the offshore oil and gas industry of the circumstances surrounding an incident or a near miss. They also generally contain recommendations that should minimize the likelihood of a recurrence of such events on the OCS.
Recommendations included in the alert cover operational areas such as negative pressure testing procedures, location of equipment on the rig, and the configuration and alignment of subsea blowout preventer stacks.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE)/U.S. Coast Guard Joint Investigation Team released its final investigative report on the April 20, 2010, Deepwater Horizon explosion, loss of life, and resulting oil spill on Sept. 14. Volume II, covering the areas of the investigation under BOEMRE jurisdiction, includes findings on the direct and contributing causes of the Macondo blowout and the resulting explosion and fire aboard the Deepwater Horizon.
In Volume II, the Joint Investigation Team summarized the evidence developed during the investigation and concluded that BP, Transocean and Halliburton’s conduct in connection with the operations at the Macondo well violated a number of federal offshore safety regulations under BOEMRE’s jurisdiction. The report is available at: http://www.boemre.gov/ooc/press/2011/press0914.htm.