Rolling Back

It’s now being reported that they are going ahead with making the proposed changes official:

Media report, usual caveats apply.



The regulations could be simplified to: drillers must use the world’s best commercially available equipment and practices. Anyone that fails to do so is liable for triple damages.


Another take from Oilprice

Moving BOEMRE in with BSEE is a problem. Money trumps safety every time. [pun intended]
Oil companies self regulate about as well as financial institutions. Eventually “normalization of deviance” will again be accepted in pursuit of higher profits .

What do you mean by


Yeah this article lists no specific regulations that are being rolled back…

Happy New Year from Anchor Watch Central

You too! Happy New Year! 2017 was WAY better then 2016. Let’s make 2018 WAY better then 2017!

The first round of changes has hit the Federal Register:

My first quick reading indicates that of all the changes floated in the media, only the one about not requiring an independent third party inspection of your BOP (and other, similar gear) seems to be incorporated in this one. There may be more to follow.

For those who haven’t followed the Deepwater Horizon evidence, the BOP on that rig was underspecified, poorly designed and maintained, had a dead battery and a miswired solenoid, and was subjected to undocumented changes, one of which may have contributed to the crew’s misreading of the critical negative pressure test and another misled the people who were trying to shut in the well immediately after the blowout. The rule BSEE proposes to eliminate was intended to prevent such dangerous nonsense; given the problems with classification societies and the USCG described in the El Faro discussions, it’s not clear that it would. The interesting question is what mechanism could exist to insure that such safety-critical equipment actually does what the crew thinks it does.




Oops, wrong subpart. The one I linked to covers production (post-drilling) installations. The one that is causing the controversy hasn’t hit the Register yet. My apologies.


To my mind, this, like a lot of other things are best regulated with strict liability for the compensatory and penalty damages. If you have a blowout or oil spill, you are liable for the damages caused, and if you failed to use the best commercially available technology in the world, you are also liable for treble damages. In other words, you are betting a substantial stake in your company, based upon your choice of well design, equipment, personnel, training, procedures, and subcontractors.

Regulations result in ticking the boxes, and hoodwinking and in effect bribing the inspectors. It also depends on the quality and independence of the inspectors.

The simpler regulations are the better they work. If a blowout preventer is necessary, require at least two. If they depend on batteries, you’d better have twice as many. If the batteries last four years, you better replace them every two years, etc. If it’s possible for control wires to be cut, chaffed, shorted etc., then you better have acoustic link backup controls. Since it’s possible for a pipe joint to obstruct the cutoff rams, there had better be two sets of cut off rams and they both had better be able to cut through the pipe joint, etc.

If they have a better and safer way to do it in Norway, then you better be doing it at least that well in the Gulf.