Bureau Of Safety And Environmental Enforcement News

Courtesy BSEE

BSEE Regs Update to Cut Burden on Operators

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) – incorporating industry innovation, best science, and best practices – is proposing to update regulations covering offshore oil and gas drilling operations to improve reliability, safety, efficiency, and environmental stewardship, and reduce unnecessary burdens on operators. BSEE reviewed the existing regulations in response to Executive and Secretary’s Orders instructing it to identify ways to reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens while ensuring that offshore oil and gas drilling operations are conducted in a safe and

Shell Glider Subsea Jumper Leak courtesy Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement Photo BSEE

BSEE : Investigation Report into Subsea Jumper Leak

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) released the panel investigation report on the May 11, 2016 subsea jumper leak on a platform operated by Shell Offshore, Inc. The leak from Green Canyon Block 248 occurred on Subsea Well #4, resulting in an estimated release of 1,926 barrels of oil. The BSEE investigation panel concluded that the loss of containment in the Glider subsea system was caused by the ductile tensile overload fracture of the Load Limiting Joint of the Glider #4 jumper.  The ductile tensile overload fracture was caused by the bending loads imposed as a result of

High-Performance Bolting Technology for Offshore Oil and Natural Gas Operations Photo courtesy of  BSEE

BSEE: Report on Subsea Bolting Technology Released

 In an effort to address a recurring problem with faulty connectors in critical safety equipment, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) commissioned a National Academy of Engineering study on the matter in September 2016. After 18 months of study, the report entitled “High-Performance Bolting Technology for Offshore Oil and Natural Gas Operations” was published Friday. BSEE sponsored this study to leverage the resources of the National Materials and Manufacturing Board of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine with BSEE’s Emerging

(Photo: BSEE)

Eni Begins Drilling Oil Well in Alaska's Beaufort Sea

firm is working from an artificial island in the Beaufort Sea about three miles off Oliktok Point in the Arctic Ocean. The well is expected to run more than 6 miles (10 km) long.   The project could result in 20,000 barrels a day of oil production, according to regulator U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), which said it sent employees to the site to ensure compliance with federal regulations and safety standards.   Eni, which has existing production facilities on the island and at Oliktok Point, did not immediately reply to requests for comment.   According

(Credit: U.S. Coast Guard)

'Roomba' in the Arctic

; Coast Guard Research To be fair, this is not the Coast Guard’s only ongoing ice-oil research. Other projects include a cage-management system that separates ice from oily water. Work is also ongoing in the Great Lakes, started in 2010. Coast Guard staff said that tests by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), in a controlled facility, indicate that skimmers can be effective in up to about 30-40% ice if the system can get to the oil. After that, performance declines quickly with 60-70% of ice, again due to accessibility to the oil.  Mobility – getting to the pollution

Image: NOAA National Hurricane Center

GoM Rigs Evacuated ahead of Storm Cindy

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

Eric Roan (Photo: IMCA)

Roan Joins IMCA in North America

20 years of marine and offshore oil and gas industry experience, including four years as a U.S. Coast Guard Port State Control Officer. Prior to joining IMCA Eric was a Program Manager at the Center for Offshore Safety where he facilitated industry groups tasked with implementing U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and U.S. Coast Guard requirements and providing recommendations for clarification to the regulatory agencies. Roan is a former co-chair of the U.S. Coast Guard’s National Offshore Safety Advisory Committee where he chaired several subcommittees that provided industry

ICEHORSE Submersible Skimmer recovering oil during prototype testing at BSEE’s Ohmsett Facility. This BSEE-funded research project is part of an effort to improve oil recovery in icy Arctic waters. (Photo: BSEE)

Partners Advance Arctic Oil Spill Response Technology

Continually working to help improve oil spill response technologies, the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) presented details on its latest efforts at the Arctic Oil Spill Response Research and Technology Workshop on April 26.   There, Bureau staff presented results of several BSEE-funded projects including the development of a submersible skimmer prototype for oil recovery in and around broken ice.   “At the workshop, we all worked together to collectively understand the suite of response technology possibilities that are available today as well as

Photo: Sercel

Further Milestones for QuietSea PAM System

 Sercel said its QuietSea Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) system, which is seamlessly integrated into seismic streamers to detect the presence of marine mammals during seismic operations, has passed two milestones.   Most recently, the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) authorized the use of QuietSea for seismic survey operations in the U.S. waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The U.S. authorities recognized that the ability to use geophysical survey streamers for PAM was a great step in the future development of effective PAM systems.  

Suzanne Chang (Photo: BSEE)

Oil Spill Research to Measure Dispersant Effectiveness

Highlighting research projects funded by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), engineer Suzanne Chang discussed 13 recently completed and ongoing studies Tuesday at the Seventh Technology Workshop for Oil Spill Response. Chang described one study that seeks to, “develop a novel ultrasonic scatter method to measure the droplet size of dispersed oil to monitor the efficacy of dispersant application.” Chang explained that, “acoustic signals respond to changes in oil droplet sizes.” The ultimate goal of the research is to develop a way to measure the

Photo: NOAA

US Drafts Rules to Reduce Survey Impact on Marine Life

in its preferred alternative are: requiring protected species observers on each boat, mandatory vessel avoidance of marine mammals and start up/shut down rules that apply if/when marine mammals are observed in the area.   BOEM is the lead agency on this draft PEIS, with the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) as cooperating agencies. The PEIS will support both BOEM’s G&G permitting and NMFS’s Marine Mammal Protection Act decision-making for oil- and gas-related G&G. The target date for completing the PEIS is September

Photo: Ohmsett

MTR100: Ohmsett

Managed by the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement’s (BSEE), Ohmsett – The National Oil Spill Response Research and Renewable Energy Test Facility is part of its oil spill research program ensuring the best and safest oil spill detection, containment and removal technologies are available to protect the U.S. coastal and ocean environments. The facility is maintained by MAR (MD) LLC through a contract with BSEE. At Ohmsett, research and testing is conducted in a realistic setting to produce the most accurate and reliable results generally

Image: NOAA

GoM Operators Evacuating Ahead of Storm

Offshore oil and gas operators in the Gulf of Mexico are evacuating platforms and rigs in the path of Tropical Depression No. 9.   The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) said its Hurricane Response Team is activated and monitoring the operators’ activities, and will continue to work with offshore operators and other state and federal agencies until operations return to normal and the storm is no longer a threat to Gulf of Mexico oil and gas activities.   Based on data from offshore operator reports submitted as of 11:30 a.m. CDT today, personnel have been evacuated

BOEM, BSEE Find No Significant Impact from OCS Well Stimulation

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) today published a joint environmental assessment on the use of well stimulation treatments in federal waters off California.   BOEM and BSEE completed a comprehensive environmental analysis evaluating the potential impacts from the use of well stimulation treatments on the 23 oil and gas platforms currently in operation on the Pacific Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), and based on the analysis in the Programmatic Environmental Assessment (EA), issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI)

Two 210-foot and two 95-foot vessels conduct skimming operations, May 14, 2016, in response to a crude oil discharged from a segment of flow line at the Glider Field approximately 90 miles south of Timbalier Island, La. (U.S. Coast Guard photo: Marine Safety Unit Morgan City)

Response Continues to Oil Spill off Louisiana

been reported. More than 130 personnel from the Coast Guard and Shell have mobilized as part of the unified response effort. The Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinators Office and the Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security have been notified and remain engaged. The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) remains involved and is leading an investigation to determine the cause of the release

Oil sheen location Photo BSEE

BSEE, USCG Respond Oil Spill in GoM

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) and the U.S. Coast Guard are responding to a two mile by thirteen mile sheen in the Gulf of Mexico, approximately 97 miles south of Port Fourchon, LA. The offshore oil and gas operator, Shell Offshore Inc., reported that a sheen was observed in the area of its Glider Field, a group of four subsea wells located in Green Canyon Block 248. The production from these four wells flows through a subsea manifold to Shell’s Brutus platform located in 2,900 feet of water. Shell reported that production from all wells that flow to the Brutus

BSEE Director Salerno and USCG Rear Admiral Thomas Discuss information Sharing and Joint Operations at OTC

BSEE, USCG on Sharing Information, Jt Ops

Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) Director Brian Salerno and U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral Paul Thomas participated in a luncheon panel discussion today ​at the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC)  in Houston. The discussion focused on topics relevant to joint inspections of offshore facilities and other offshore regulatory issues. Center for Offshore Safety Executive Director Charlie Williams hosted and moderated the session on the final day of OTC. The Director and Rear Admiral discussed their coordinated approach to joint inspections and incident investigations and how

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