In a move the oil industry welcomes, the Trump administration wants to rollback several offshore drilling safety measures implemented in 2010 after the largest oil spill in U.S. history.
As The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, which regulates oil and gas drilling, has proposed scaling back some measures the oil industry says are burdensome and could save companies more than $900 million in a decade.
If the proposal is approved, it would strike out a provision requiring bureau certification for third-party inspectors of equipment including the blowout preventer that failed in the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, killing 11 people. It would also relax rules to stream real time oil production data to onshore facilities that government regulators can review.
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Though a standard dictating how much pressure companies need to maintain while drilling a well would remain, the bureau wants to eliminate the term “safe from the section set by the Obama administration. Industry groups argue that modern technologies eliminate the need for the “drilling margin, which is the minimum amount of mud and fluid over a well to protect against a pressure surge that could cause a blowout like the Deepwater Horizon incident.
A hard hat from an oil worker lies in oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on East Grand Terre Island, Louisiana June 8, 2010. Reuters
“Based on BSEE experience during the implementation of the original