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04 17, 2020 by BIC Magazine
This month marks the 10th anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon accident off the Louisiana coast. We pause to remember the 11 men who lost their lives that day as they honorably worked to fuel our great nation. We keep all of the families who suffered loss on the night of April 20, 2010 in our prayers now and always, as well as all those who worked tirelessly to rescue survivors and help our communities recover in the aftermath.
Clearly, Deepwater Horizon was a tragedy for everyone directly involved and an incident that no one wants to see happen again. The impact it made on the offshore oil and gas industry as a whole is unparalleled; out of this tragedy, a renewed and robust culture of safety and environmental protection was born. Ten years later, as a result of industry and the federal government working together to learn from Deepwater Horizon and collaboratively develop new and improved safety and environmental protection standards, we believe that offshore oil and natural gas operations are safer than they have ever been.
In fact, immediately following the incident, industry, federal agencies and advocacy organizations proactively came together to find answers to questions that all of us found ourselves asking: "How did this happen?" and "How can we ensure that an offshore accident like this will never happen again?" During the past decade, this proactive and collaborative approach has grown, and industry has demonstrated its profound commitment to ensure people and the environment are protected during all phases of energy exploration and production.
In coordination with API, several industry task forces were established in the days and weeks after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to strengthen safety and advance new standards that promote the safe and responsible development of our nation's offshore oil and gas resources. These working groups brought together industry and federal regulatory experts who launched a comprehensive review of offshore safety procedures and identified best practices in areas such as spill prevention, intervention and response.
The legacy Deepwater Horizon has had upon the industry is a renewed culture of safety and environmental protection focused on ensuring no one ever experiences another offshore accident like the tragedy we saw unfold 10 years ago.
In the fall of 2010, the newly created Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) adopted the Safety and Environmental Systems rule, a nontraditional, performance-focused tool for integrating and managing offshore operations to enhance safety and reduce the frequency and severity of accidents. Over the past 10 years, BSEE has also instituted a risk-based inspection program, a risk analysis committee to identify and reduce risks of offshore activities, and a text messaging service that allows safety regulators to send safety alerts and bulletins to frontline offshore workers.
Shortly after the Deepwater Horizon incident, oil and gas operators established the Center for Offshore Safety to foster a heightened culture of safety, share lessons learned across the industry, and gain public awareness and confidence in industry's safety and environmental performance. Industry also established the Marine Well Containment Co. and the Helix Well Containment Group to provide spill containment technology and response capabilities.
Both before and after April 20, 2010, America's offshore oil and gas industry has been and remains committed to a goal of zero fatalities, injuries and incidents. The legacy Deepwater Horizon has had upon the industry is a renewed culture of safety and environmental protection focused on ensuring no one ever experiences another offshore accident like the tragedy we saw unfold 10 years ago.
Those of us who live, work and play in Louisiana appreciate the contributions of the offshore oil and gas development to our local communities, our jobs and our economy. We also know that our friends and family members work offshore, and the coastal waters where we produce oil and gas are the places where we hunt and fish as well. Safely drilling and producing American energy is and remains the No. 1 priority of LMOGA and America's oil and gas industry.
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