Salazar will host ministerial deepwater forum

US Sec. of the Interior Ken Salazar announced that he is convening ministers and senior government officials from countries exploring and producing offshore oil and gas on Apr. 14 at DOI headquarters to discuss development of better technologies to contain potential deepwater well blowouts.

Nick Snow
OGJ Washington Editor

WASHINGTON, DC, Apr. 4 -- US Sec. of the Interior Ken Salazar announced that he is convening ministers and senior government officials from countries exploring and producing offshore oil and gas on Apr. 14 at DOI headquarters to discuss development of better technologies to contain potential deepwater well blowouts.

“Just as we share oceans with our neighbors, we have an interest in sharing best practices for how all of us can develop our resources safely and responsibly,” said Salazar, who announced the ministerial forum in Rio de Janeiro while meeting with Brazilian officials to discuss cooperative offshore energy safety development efforts. “Those of us engaged in offshore energy exploration and production have a collective responsibility to strengthen our capabilities for containing potential deepwater blowouts and promoting international collaboration, research and development going forward.”

Ministers and senior officials from 13 countries and the European Union, along with representatives from industry, academia, and nongovernmental organizations, have been invited to attend the forum, according to DOI. Confirmed participants include ministers and senior officials from Brazil, Mexico, Australia, Great Britain, Norway, Russia, Canada, India, Israel, Netherlands, Angola and the European Union. Two panels of experts from industry and academia will make presentations on the lessons learned from recent blowouts and offer suggestions for promoting cutting-edge containment capabilities in the future.

Salazar has met with Brazilian officials, including Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota and Minister of Mines and Energy Edison Lobao, to discuss safe development of offshore oil and gas resources during his visit. He joined US Ambassador to Brazil Thomas Shannon in Rio de Janeiro on Apr. 14 for meetings with Haroldo Lima, director general of the Brazilian National Petroleum Agency, and leaders in the oil and gas industry to have a dialogue on best practices and safe development of offshore oil and gas resources. He also planned to meet with representatives of Brazilian environmental organizations.

He and Deputy Interior Secretary David J. Hayes were scheduled to travel to Mexico City later in the day to continue discussions about safe and responsible development of oil and gas resources in the Gulf of Mexico with Mexican government officials and oil and gas industry leaders. They were to be joined by former US Sen. Bob Graham and former US Environmental Protection Administrator William K. Reilly, who co-chaired US President Barack Obama’s National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling, DOI said.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

More in Government