BSEE to host forum on next-generation blowout preventers

News - May 21, 2012

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As part of its on-going efforts to improve the safety of offshore oil and gas operations, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) will host a public Forum on Next-Generation Blowout Preventer (BOP) and Control Systems Technology, Management and Regulations on Tuesday, May 22, 2012.

In the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon, BSEE’s predecessor agency, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement published a Drilling Safety Rule that contained a number of critical provisions related to offshore drilling safety and blowout preventers. Additionally, other governmental and independent investigations of the Deepwater Horizon have identified additional issues with BOPs, which BSEE will address in anew proposed rule to be published this summer.

“The blowout preventer is the most critical piece of safety equipment on a drilling rig, yet advancements in their design, operation, and maintenance had lagged far behind the industry’s move into increasingly deep waters. The investigations into the Deepwater Horizon tragedy highlighted the need for innovation in how BOPs are built and how they are regulated, and we will work deliberately and expeditiously toward getting a draft rule published. This is an area where we will need active involvement from the oil and gas industry, academia, stakeholder groups, and the public,” said Director James Watson.

“This forum will bring experts in from around the country to participate in an open and candid dialogue about how we can take the next step in offshore drilling safety.”

Several panels will discuss:

• BOP technology needs identified from Deepwater Horizon investigations
• Real time technologies that can aid in diagnostics and kick detection
• Design requirements needed to provide assurance that BOPs will cut casing or drill pipe and seal a well effectively
• Manufacturing, testing, maintenance and certification requirements needed to ensure operability and reliability of BOP equipment; and
• Training and certification needs for industry personnel operating or maintaining BOPs.
Panels will be made up of representatives from government organizations, trade associations, equipment manufacturers, offshore operators, consultants, training companies, and others.

The forum will be held at the South Interior Building, located at 1900 Constitution Ave, Washington, DC, 20245, and last from 8am until 4pm.

Admission is free, but registration is required as seating is limited.

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