Offshore drilling can have detrimental effects on the environment. As a result of the horrific Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, along with many other oil spills in the U.S.’s history, new rules and regulations on offshore oil and gas drilling have been issued in an attempt to make the practice safer.
New Offshore Drilling Regulation
Back in 2010, the Deepwater Horizon explosion was caused by the buckling of a section of drill pipe, causing what was supposed to be a fail-safe blowout preventer to malfunction.Environmentalists believe that bigger issues reside in a broader breakdown in oversight by the drilling companies and the government regulators. Either way, tougher regulations and more attention on the oil industry should make offshore oil drilling safer in the long run.
New regulations are meant to tighten safety requirements on underwater drilling equipment and well-control operations. With more regulations on blowout preventers, the oil industry hopes to avoid more big problems in the future. Blowout preventers are the industry-standard devices that are the last line of protection to stop explosions in undersea oil and gas wells. So putting new regulations on them is in hope to achieve an even safer standard.
The new rules also put tougher restrictions on the design of undersea wells and the lining that coats the wells and real-time monitoring of subsea drilling and spill containment.
With the new requirements in place, outside organizations will conduct annual assessments on the mechanical integrity of blowout preventers. This includes a requirement that the equipment is maintained according to the manufacturers’ original performance standards. They will also be required to continue monitoring the equipment and using undersea video and other equipment of deepwater and other high-pressure, high-risk drilling activities.
Read more about the new regulations at https://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/15/us/politics/us-issuesnew-rules-on-offshore-oil-and-gas-drilling.html?_r=0