Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Bureau Of Safety And Environmental Enforcement News

BSEE, USCG Investigating GoM Rig Fatality

(Image: BSEE)

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) and U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) are investigating the fatality of a worker on board the Petrobras 10,000 drillship in the Gulf of Mexico. Petrobras America Inc. reported the fatality on board the Transocean Ltd. owned drillship at about 4:45 a.m., December 2, 2017. The rig was in an area of the Gulf known as Walker Ridge 469, about 172 miles south of Port Fourchon, La. The deceased worked for Spencer Ogden Ltd. and was participating in pipe handling operations at the time of his injury.

BSEE Addresses Near Miss Reporting

Allyson Anderson (Courtesy BSEE)

Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) Associate Director Allyson Anderson addressed the Independent Petroleum Association of America’s (IPAA) Offshore Committee last week during their meeting in Houston. In her address, Anderson highlighted the bureau's work with the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) on the Near-Miss Reporting System and the critical role that industry will play in the success of the program. Anderson said the bureau needs offshore workers to feel empowered to voluntarily report near-misses and be active participants in creating a robust safety culture.

Well Site Supervisor Sentenced for Lying to BSEE Officials

A Houston man was sentenced for making false statements to Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) inspectors in relation to the veracity of blowout preventer testing on an offshore oil and gas platform, the United States Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of Louisiana announced. U.S. District Judge Helen G. Berrigan sentenced Race Addington, 49, of Houston, Texas to one year probation and 40 hours of community service. Addington, a well site supervisor for a platform in the Gulf of Mexico, was sentenced for presenting a fabricated blowout preventer pressure test chart to the BSEE inspectors on or about November 28…

Shell Arctic Vessels, Capping Stack Inspected

Photo: BSEE

Shell Oil Co. marine vessels Noble Discoverer and the semisubmersible drilling unit Transocean Polar Pioneer were inspected by two Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) personnel in Dutch Harbor, Alaska July 7-12, BSEE announced. BSEE said its inspectors were on board the vessels to review drilling equipment, assess overall readiness and test key safety devices, also verifying BOEM lease stipulations, environmental mitigation measures and air quality equipment, as well as Environmental Protection Agency National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit requirements.

US Appeals Court Rejects Challenge to Shell Spill Plans in Alaska

A divided federal appeals court rejected an effort by environmental groups to void a U.S. agency's approval of two oil spill response plans by Royal Dutch Shell Plc related to the company's oil leases in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas on Alaska's Arctic coast. By a 2-1 vote, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday rejected a claim that the federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, which is part of the Department of the Interior, acted unlawfully in approving the plans, which relate to leases from 2005, 2007 and 2008.

BSEE Aims to Strengthen Offshore Production Safety

Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement Director James Watson

As part of President Obama’s commitment to promoting safe and responsible offshore oil and gas development, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) Director James Watson today announced another key step to strengthen both human safety and environmental protection on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf. The proposed rule, which will be published in the Federal Register tomorrow, implements best practices and updates regulations regarding production safety systems and equipment used to collect and treat oil and gas from offshore production facilities.

Technology Readiness Levels Defined for Oil Spill Response

Oil Spill Response Research & Renewable Energy Test Facility Courtesy BSEE

Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) staff participated in a workgroup meeting at the bureau's Ohmsett facility in Leonardo, N.J., as part of the workgroup’s efforts to define Technology Readiness Levels for use in the oil spill response community. BSEE staff discussed the criteria that could be used to determine the readiness of technology with equipment manufacturers, industry, and facility representatives, drawing from their different perspectives and expertise. These discussions are part of the BSEE-funded project Technology Readiness Level Definitions for Oil Spill Response Technologies and Equipment.

BSEE Allocates $6m for Oil Spill Research Projects

Photo courtesy of BSEE

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) will invest up to $6 million to support oil spill response research projects in 2015 and is soliciting proposals for these projects. In a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) released on the federal government’s business opportunities website, www.FedBizOpps.gov, the bureau called for white papers focusing specifically on one of seven topic areas for proposed research covering oil spill response operations on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf. The deadline for submitting white papers is February 9, 2015.

US Issues Alert on Offshore Oil Equipment Problems

The U.S. Interior Department issued a safety alert on Tuesday, warning offshore oil and gas drillers about a "recurring problem of connector and bolt failures" in equipment including blowout preventers. The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), a unit of the department, said it was aware of the problem, which affected components used in risers and underwater blowout preventers used in offshore drilling. "These failures are of great concern to BSEE due to their frequency and the potential for a catastrophic event," the agency said.

GoM Rigs Evacuated ahead of Storm Cindy

Image: NOAA National Hurricane Center

Facing incoming Tropical Storm Cindy, offshore oil and gas operators in the Gulf of Mexico have begun evacuating platforms and rigs as the storm moves north-westward toward the U.S. Gulf Coast. Data from offshore operator reports submitted to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) as of 11:30 CDT today indicate that personnel have been evacuated from a total of 40 production platforms, or 5.43 percent of the 737 manned platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. Personnel have been evacuated from one rig non-dynamically positioned (DP) rig, equivalent to 6.67 percent of the 15 rigs of this type currently operating in the Gulf.

13% of Manned Platforms Evacuated in GoM

U.S. Navy photo from August 25

Offshore oil and gas operators in the Gulf of Mexico have evacuated personnel from 98 production platforms, 13.3 percent of the region’s 737 manned platforms during Tropical Storm Harvey, according to this morning’s data submitted to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE). BSEE said personnel have been evacuated from five of 10 non-dynamically positioned (DP) rigs currently operating in the Gulf. None of the Gulf’s 21 DP rigs have moved off location. Based on operator reports, BSEE estimates that approximately 18.94 percent of the current oil production of 1…

About 13.5% of US Gulf Oil Output Still Shut in by Harvey

About 13.5 percent of oil production in the Gulf of Mexico was shut in on Thursday due to Tropical Storm Harvey, the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said. That equates to some 236,115 barrels of oil per day, out of roughly 1.75 million barrels pumped daily from the Gulf, down from 323,760 barrels of oil per day that were shut on Wednesday. Meanwhile, 17.6 percent of natural gas production in the region, or 568.09 million cubic feet per day has been shut in, BSEE said, down from 611.09 million on Wednesday. BSEE tabulated the data by polling 31 Gulf operators.

Harvey Knocks Out 22% of U.S. Gulf Oil Production

About 22 percent of U.S. Gulf of Mexico oil production is offline due to Hurricane Harvey, the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said on Friday. That equates to roughly 377,117 barrels of oil per day, out of the roughly 1.75 million barrels pumped daily from the Gulf. About 23.2 percent of Gulf natural gas production is offline due to Harvey, or about 748 million cubic feet per day, BSEE said. Roughly 86 platforms have been evacuated in the Gulf so far, about 12 percent in the region. Four of the 10 drilling rigs in the Gulf have also been evacuated, BSEE said.

About 22% of US Gulf Oil Output Offline Due to Harvey

About 22 percent of U.S. Gulf of Mexico oil production is offline due to Tropical Storm Harvey, the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) said on Sunday. Output levels rose slightly from Saturday, when roughly 25 percent of Gulf oil output was offline. The amount of production offline on Sunday was roughly 378,633 barrels of oil per day out of the roughly 1.75 million bpd pumped from the Gulf. About 26 percent of Gulf natural gas production is offline, or about 828 million cubic feet (23.4 million cubic meters) per day, BSEE said.

BSEE Tests GoM Response Equipment

Photo: BSEE

The U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) informs it has recently tested and verified the sound working condition of various response equipment used in the Gulf of Mexico region. Analysts with BSEE’s Oil Spill Preparedness Division boarded the pollution control vessel Louisiana Responder at Fort Jackson, La. on July 14 to test the response readiness of Anadarko Petroleum Corp. While conducting an equipment verification, the team witnessed the testing of a skimmer and other associated equipment, stored in Buras, La., on the Mississippi River. Subsequent response equipment stored at Marine Spill Response Corp.

BSEE Responds to Explosion in Gulf of Mexico

Location of Echo Platform

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) is responding to an explosion at West Delta 105 in the Gulf of Mexico, approximately 12 miles off the coast of New Orleans. The offshore oil and gas operator, Fieldwood Energy, reported the explosion on its Echo Platform just before 3pm this afternoon. The operator has reported that there is one fatality and three others being treated at an onshore medical facility as a result of the incident. The Echo Platform was not in production at the time of the incident. The facility damage was limited to the explosion area and there was no pollution reported.

BSEE Dir. Salerno to Address Offshore Technology Conference

Brian Salerno

Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) Director Brian Salerno will be traveling to Houston for the 2015 Offshore Technology Center May4-7 at NRG Park. The annual conference is an international gathering showcasing leading‐edge technology for offshore drilling, exploration, production, and environmental protection. Director Salerno will be discussing the bureau’s advancements in reducing risk offshore. 1:00 p.m. 7:30 a.m. 2:00 p.m. What: OTC Luncheon with the Center for Offshore Safety: Improving Effectiveness of Safety and Environmental Management Systems and Recognizing Contributions. 12:15 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

BOEM Approves First BP Exploration Plan in GOM

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) approved a supplemental Exploration Plan (EP) submitted by BP for deepwater oil and gas activities. BOEM conducted a site-specific Environmental Assessment (EA) of the activities described in the plan. This is the 44th plan that has been approved following the completion of a site-specific EA since stronger regulations were implemented in June 2010. Prior to any drilling under the plan, BP must obtain drilling permits from the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), which will continue to assess the information that is necessary to allow specific activities.

BSEE to Perform Risk-based Inspections

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has launched a pilot Risk-Based Inspection Program in an effort to improve its focus on offshore oil and gas facilities that exhibit a number of distinguishing risk factors. According to BSEE, the new program will complement its existing inspections and audits to increase the safety of offshore oil and gas operations. “By focusing on facilities based upon their risk factors, BSEE can more efficiently and effectively manage limited inspection and audit resources,” explained BSEE Director Brian Salerno.

BSEE Launches Efforts to Reduce Offshore Risk

Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) Director Brian Salerno made two announcements during a press conference in Houston Tuesday at the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) - each aimed at reducing the risks associated with offshore oil and gas operations. First, Director Salerno announced the launch of the SafeOCS program, an initiative aimed at collecting and analyzing “near miss” data. Second, he released BSEE’s first-ever Annual Report, which presents the agency’s analysis of offshore activities, trends, indicators, incidents and other key data points.