New Drilling Regulations


#1

Oh boy ! But I noticed it is just a proposal so I don’t expect any major changes.


#2

What a quality artical. So full of information. Five paragraphs about everything but the new regulation and one short one mentioning that there is a new regulation. Jesus I would be embarrassed tip call my self a report off that’s the dribble I wrote.


#3

here’s the NY Times article…says a bit more

[B]New Sea Drilling Rule Planned, 5 Years After BP Oil Spill[/B]

APRIL 10, 2015

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is planning to impose a major new regulation on offshore oil and gas drilling to try to prevent the kind of explosions that caused the catastrophic BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, administration officials said Friday.

The announcement of the Interior Department regulation, which could be made as soon as Monday, is timed to coincide with the five-year anniversary of the disaster, which killed 11 men and sent millions of barrels of oil spewing into the gulf. The regulation is being introduced as the Obama administration is taking steps to open up vast new areas of federal waters off the southeast Atlantic Coast to drilling, a decision that has infuriated environmentalists.

The rule is expected to tighten safety requirements on blowout preventers, the industry-standard devices that are the last line of protection to stop explosions in undersea oil and gas wells. The explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig on April 20, 2010, was caused in part when the buckling of a section of drill pipe led to the malfunction of a supposedly fail-safe blowout preventer on a BP well called Macondo.

It will be the third and biggest new drilling-equipment regulation put forth by the Obama administration in response to the disaster. In 2010, the Interior Department announced new regulations on drilling well casings, and in 2012, it announced new regulations on the cementing of wells.

The latest regulation, a result of several years of study, will be imposed on all future offshore drilling equipment and will be used by the administration to make the case that it can prevent a BP-like disaster as oil exploration expands in the Atlantic. The Interior Department is also reviewing a proposal from Royal Dutch Shell to drill in the Arctic’s Chukchi Sea, off the coast of Alaska.

“We’re coming on five years, and we’ve been working tirelessly in the regulation division since it happened,” said Allyson Anderson, associate director of strategic engagement in the Interior Department’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement. “We’ve doubled down on building a culture of safety,”

But environmentalists remained highly skeptical.

“Making sure the design, operation and maintenance of the blowout preventer is the best it can possibly be is imperative, no question,” said Bob Deans, a spokesman for the Natural Resources Defense Council and co-author of the book “In Deep Water,” an investigation of the cause of the spill. “Industry and government have taken measures over the past five years to reduce some of the risk in what is an inherently dangerous operation at sea. That’s a far cry from saying it’s safe. And the last thing we need is to expose Atlantic or Arctic waters to a BP-style blowout.”

Environmentalists also noted that a panel appointed by President Obama to investigate the spill concluded that the chief cause of the disaster, which left the Gulf Coast soaked in black tar, was not the blowout preventer but a broad systemic failure of oversight by the companies involved in drilling the well and the government regulators assigned to police them.

Five years after the spill, the number of accidents and injuries per oil-producing well has increased, according to Interior Department statistics. Between 2009 and 2014, the overall number of oil- and gas-producing wells dropped about 20 percent, and accidents and incidents associated with drilling in the Gulf of Mexico dropped 14 percent. But during that period, accidents and injuries per producing well increased by about 7 percent.

A report last year by the Chemical Safety Board concluded that the blowout preventer’s blind shear ram, an emergency hydraulic device with two cutting blades, punctured the pipe and sent oil and gas gushing to the surface. The study found that the drill pipe had buckled under the tremendous pressure of the oil and gas rising from the well from the initial blowout.

That report warned that another disastrous offshore oil well blowout could happen despite regulatory improvements in the four years since the BP well explosion.

“The new regulation is important,” said William K. Reilly, a co-chairman of the presidential panel that investigated the spill, and the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under the first President George Bush. “The signal from the department that it is attending to each of the systems is more important. The blowout preventer is the last-ditch preventer. It was activated too late in Macondo. If you get to the point where it’s all you’ve got, it better be good. But the system process we identified — attention to management, process design, adherence to the system — those are really vital long before you ever get to the point where you have an emergency.”

Mr. Reilly blamed Congress for some of the continued systemic problems, saying that lawmakers should have appropriated funds to increase programs for safety training and inspection.

Administration officials say that since the spill, the Interior Department has initiated the most aggressive and comprehensive offshore oil and gas regulation and oversight in history. The agency has nearly doubled the number of safety inspectors in the Gulf of Mexico, from 55 at the time of the spill to 92 today. After the accident, the Interior Department was restructured, separating the agency charged with overseeing safety from the one charged with overseeing the collection of revenue.

The agency has also put in place a requirement that any company performing deep-water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico must have access to containment dome technology — essentially, a dome that can be put over an exploded well to contain gushing oil. At least two ports in the Gulf of Mexico now store containment domes that can be used in emergencies.

While the oil industry typically opposes regulations, it has followed some of the recommendations made by the presidential panel. The big oil companies created and funded the Center for Offshore Safety, an institute intended to promote and disseminate best practices in drilling.

“The industry’s overall safety record was strong before Macondo, and the co-chairs of President Obama’s national spill commission were absolutely right when they said that offshore drilling is now even safer,” said Jack N. Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute, which lobbies for the oil industry. “We will continue to build on these achievements because our goal is zero accidents and zero spills.”

of course, IADC will fight like banshees to ensure none of this happens


#4

Yeah but I still don’t know what is supposed to happen. Where is the technical information for the new design or requirements? What are they gonna require that isn’t already part of the device? All these proposals and meetings just to add a green or red LED that shows wether it’s turned on or not?


#5

[QUOTE=Fraqrat;159282]Yeah but I still don’t know what is supposed to happen. Where is the technical information for the new design or requirements? What are they gonna require that isn’t already part of the device? All these proposals and meetings just to add a green or red LED that shows wether it’s turned on or not?[/QUOTE]

how about subsea engineers be required to earn a license with documentable time and training? A formal eduction would be nice too. For what they pay subsea personnel, the drilling companies could easily get degreed electrical and hydraulic engineers. $30M stack with IDIOTS in charge of their maintenance and operation…I’ve seen it all and don’t try to tell me otherwise.

In fact the entire rigfloor needs to be manned by certified and licensed personnel just like the bridge and ECR are!


#6

Maybe they will make a crossover from ultra large OSV chief engineer to subsea engineer. I need to make sure my OMSA dues are square so I can be grandfathered in.


#7

[QUOTE=Fraqrat;159286]Maybe they will make a crossover from ultra large OSV chief engineer to subsea engineer. I need to make sure my OMSA dues are square so I can be grandfathered in.[/QUOTE]

sure. you’d be perfect for the job and when everything starts to come down around your ears, you push the button to emergency shear everything and disconnect, but then…

IT’S EVEN SEPCO APPROVED!


#8

[QUOTE=c.captain;159280]here’s the NY Times article…says a bit more

of course, IADC will fight like banshees to ensure none of this happens[/QUOTE]

The IADC should embrace this rule change with open arms. So a $600 million rig will need another $20 million worth of gear, so what. There is no reason to not to have the most technically and economically feasible safety and environmental protection gear while drilling an oil well. Just about anything that prevents another spill is money well spent.

Plus, with best and safest equipment, there is a lot less reason to keep any area off limits.


#9

[QUOTE=Fraqrat;159286]Maybe they will make a crossover from ultra large OSV chief engineer to subsea engineer. I need to make sure my OMSA dues are square so I can be grandfathered in.[/QUOTE]

Ha!!! Good one :wink:


#10

[QUOTE=tugsailor;159291]The IADC should embrace this rule change with open arms. So a $600 million rig will need another $20 million worth of gear, so what. There is no reason to not to have the most technically and economically feasible safety and environmental protection gear while drilling an oil well. Just about anything that prevents another spill is money well spent.

Plus, with best and safest equipment, there is a lot less reason to keep any area off limits.[/QUOTE]

That would also go a long way toward easing public concerns. I would hope, anyway.


#11

The airline industry has always had kit that worked.
Have a lax government with poor oversite and soon that equipment no longer works like it should and planes crash.
Sound like any oil spill you know of?


#12

FuelFix has more details.


#13

[QUOTE=Fraqrat;159282]Yeah but I still don’t know what is supposed to happen. Where is the technical information for the new design or requirements? What are they gonna require that isn’t already part of the device? All these proposals and meetings just to add a green or red LED that shows wether it’s turned on or not?[/QUOTE]


#14

Still no specifics, I’m just wondering what type of modifications and enhancements. I’m interested in the actual mechanics of the device itself and what new technologies they will employ to make it safer.


#15

[QUOTE=Fraqrat;159541]Still no specifics, I’m just wondering what type of modifications and enhancements. I’m interested in the actual mechanics of the device itself and what new technologies they will employ to make it safer.[/QUOTE]

Here’s a novel idea. Make the term “non-shearable” obsolete in the BOP lexicon. One might also want to think about effective compression and shearing as it relates to BOPs too.
There are actually some BOP designs out that take those things into consideration but they are wicked expensive compared to the older designs approved for the GOM that work under most circumstances and if all the stars align just right.


#16

[QUOTE=Fraqrat;159541]wondering what type of modifications and enhancements. I’m interested in the actual mechanics of the device itself and what new technologies they will employ to make it safer.[/QUOTE]

Click on the first hyperlink “proposed regulations” in the linked page. Looks like mostly making regulations out of what industry adopted in the intervening years or what was supposed to be being done according to API in the first place ( 5 year tear down, etc). Looks like a business opportunity for some old subsea hands to set up 3rd party company the drilling contractors can use to perform the government mandated annual records review and inspection. Or maybe not.


#17

[QUOTE=tengineer1;159546]Here’s a novel idea. Make the term “non-shearable” obsolete in the BOP lexicon. [/QUOTE]

Looks like they are inviting comment on that very idea (from the fact sheet):

[I]Request comments on a potential long term requirement that a technology be installed to allow all equipment in the hole to be severed.

Existing BSEE regulations require that the drill pipe be severed and exclude other components in the drill string from this requirement.

Although the use of double shear rams and centering devices increase the likelihood that a drill string can be severed, the inability to sever components
such as drill collars can present significant complications during a well control event.

This requirement could help to drive innovation in safety technologies[/I]


#18

[QUOTE=KPChief;159552]Looks like they are inviting comment on that very idea (from the fact sheet):

[I]Request comments on a potential long term requirement that a technology be installed to allow all equipment in the hole to be severed.

Existing BSEE regulations require that the drill pipe be severed and exclude other components in the drill string from this requirement.

Although the use of double shear rams and centering devices increase the likelihood that a drill string can be severed, the inability to sever components
such as drill collars can present significant complications during a well control event.

This requirement could help to drive innovation in safety technologies[/I][/QUOTE]

I never understood why they didn’t have shaped charges behind the blind shear rams that no matter what else failed, if an ROV could plug in a signal to set off the primers, a BOP could be closed over anything in its bore?


#19

Not a bad idea c captain.

Generally, though, this new reg seems like No Big Deal whatsoever.


#20

Could this be the solution to meet the new rules and regulations for BOPs?: https://sysla.no/offshore/macondo-ulykken-ble-starten-pa-et-nytt-teknologiprosjekt/

PS> Includes a video with English commentaries explaining this concept.