WASHINGTON (CN) – Oil, gas and sulphur drilling operations in the outer continental shelf must adopt universal safety measures, according to a Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement regulation issued last week.
The measures include use of redundant blow out preventers, third party testing of the integrity of drill casings and concrete used to line drill holes, and mandatory well control training specific to deepwater drilling operations.
Measures in the rule that may have prevented the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico, after the initial drilling failure, include having a drilling stack with a remote control vehicle capable of closing redundant rams and shears used to limit the flow once a breach in the drill pipe has occurred.
The agency has adopted the new safety measures and others released in an agency report called “Increased Safety Measures for Energy Development on the Outer Continental Shelf.” President Obama had ordered the report in response to the Deepwater Horizon disaster, which was prolonged by the absence of remote control underwater vehicles near the Deepwater Horizon rig.
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