BSEE proposes new regulations to prevent offshore well blowouts

On behalf of Rock Palermo of Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, LLC posted in Oil and Gas on April 22, 2015.

There were a lot of things that we as a nation learned from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. For many of our more frequent readers, the biggest lesson learned was that impudent drilling for oil and natural gas comes at a steep price to the environment and those whose livelihoods depend on a safe and clean coastal environment.

But for those within the oil and gas industry, the biggest lesson learned was that more needs to be done to prevent future catastrophes from occurring. Since the disaster, industry leaders have made significant improvements to safety standards. Now, the Interior Department's Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, or BSEE, is getting involved and has proposed new regulations that will focus on preventing blowouts down the road.

The new regulations are primarily geared toward blowout preventers, which are designed to regulate the pressure in oil and gas pipes, and to stop oil and gas from leaking into the surrounding environment in the event of a blowout. In the Deepwater Horizon disaster, blowout preventers failed to do their job. It's an oversight the new regulations should address.

But blowout preventers are not the only devices in offshore drilling that need improvements. As the BSEE explained in its proposal for new well control rules, the new regulations would also address well design, real-time monitoring, other equipment and materials used to contain blowouts, and subsea containment as well.

Although there might be a few naysayers within the oil and gas industry who will find the new regulations unnecessary or even burdensome, some politicians, particularly Rep. Raúl Grijalva from the House Natural Resources Committee, say changes to regulations are "long overdue" and that companies within the oil industry should consider the changes as a way to not only protect the environment, but the people in coastal communities who are most affected by spills like the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

Source: The Hill, "Regulators tighten rules for offshore drillers," Timothy Cama, April, 13, 2015

Tags: Oil and Gas

Super Lawyers Veron Bice Palermo & Wilson LLC | Best Lawyers | 2015 Louisiana Alliance for Property & Water Rights Bar Register preeminent lawyers 2011 Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum 10 Best 2016 | Client Staisfaction | American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys Best Law Firm 2016 AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEYS || 10 BEST LAW FIRMS || 2016 CLIENT SATISFACTION AWARD