BSEE proposes changing regs to reflect technological advances

The US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement proposed amendments to its regulations governing offshore oil and gas operations in federal waters. It said the proposed rule, which will appear in the Aug. 22 Federal Register, would revise 30 CFR 250 Subpart H, Oil and Gas Production Safety Systems, in the regulations to address recent technological advances.

“The common-sense changes we are proposing, which will address issues such as production safety systems, subsurface safety devices, and safety device testing, will help regulations keep pace with changing technologies that have enabled the industry to explore and develop resources in deeper waters,” BSEE Director James A. Watson said.

“The rule also implements best practices currently being deployed by industry leaders as we continue to strive for safety at all levels, at all times,” he added.

In its announcement, the US Department of the Interior agency said the proposed changes involve a section of the regulations which has not undergone a major revision since it was first published in 1988.

During that period, the offshore oil and gas industry’s use of subsea trees has evolved or become more prevalent, BSEE said.

“These devices and materials include foam firefighting systems; electronic-based emergency shutdown systems; subsea pumping, waterflooding, and gas lift; and new alloys and equipment for high-temperature and high-pressure wells,” it noted.

Comments on the proposed changes will be accepted through Oct. 21, BSEE said.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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