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The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), formerly known as the MMS, released two new directives today under an “emergency rule-making process”. Their new “Drilling Safety Rule” and the “Workplace Safety Rule” take a detailed look at offshore drilling operations, from both a technical and an HSE standpoint, respectively.
In a surprising move, Michael R. Bromwich, director of the BOEM, has opened the floor to public discussion and “will accept and consider public comments submitted within 60 days of the rule’s publication”.
Speaking with DOI Press Secretary Kendra Barkoff, specifics of how the Department of the Interior and BOEM plan to gather this industry commentary will follow in the next few days.
Below is the “Drilling Safety Rule” in it’s entirety. Please feel free to start this commentary on the gCaptain forum and we’ll make sure your feedback is heard.
THE BUREAU OF OCEAN ENERGY MANAGEMENT,
REGULATION AND ENFORCEMENT
Office of Public Affairs
THE DRILLING SAFETY RULE
An Interim Final Rule to Enhance Safety Measures for Energy
Development on the Outer Continental Shelf
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEM) is submitting to the Federal Register for publication the interim final Drilling Safety Rule. The Drilling Safety Rule will be effective immediately upon publication.
The Drilling Safety Rule imposes requirements that will enhance the safety of oil and gas drilling operations on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). It addresses both well bore integrity and well control equipment and procedures.
Well bore integrity provides the first line of defense against a blowout by preventing a loss of well control. It includes the appropriate use of drilling fluids and the well bore casing and cementing program. Provisions in the rule addressing well bore integrity are:
Well control equipment includes the Blowout Preventer (BOP) and control systems that activate the BOP. Provisions in the rule on well control equipment include:
This Drilling Safety Rule is issued under an emergency rulemaking process consistent with Administrative Procedure Act (APA) requirements. The equipment, systems and improved practices stipulated in the rule are immediately necessary for the safety of OCS oil and gas drilling operations and the protection of the environment.
While the rule is effective immediately upon publication, BOEM will accept and consider public comments submitted within 60 days of the rule’s publication. The agency will then either publish a new rule with modifications in light of comments received or publish a notice that will confirm the rule as final with no additional changes.
This rule is based upon recommendations contained in Secretary Salazar’s May 27th, 2010, Safety Measures Report to the President and codifies ongoing requirements of Notice to Lessees No. 2010-N05 (NTL 5).
BOEM intends to address additional provisions considered appropriate in light of the Deepwater Horizon explosion in additional rulemakings in the coming months.
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