James Watson, director of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, speaks at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston. (The Houston Chronicle)

Q&A: Drilling regulator James Watson

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Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement Director James Watson talks about coming new regulations with FuelFix ahead of a speech at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston.
Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, center, speaks during a news conference with James Watson, director of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, left, and Tommy Beaudreau, director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, during the Offshore Technology Conference at Reliant Park in Houston. (Brett Coomer / Houston Chronicle)

Obama official: Oil industry needs a jolt of diversity

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When Interior Secretary Sally Jewell worked in the oil patch three decades ago, she was a pioneer who put up with a nearly all-male work force and Hustler pin-ups at drill sites. While overt sexism may have left the oilfield in the 32 years since, there still aren’t a lot of women in it. Ditto for people of color. “The industry has some work to do,” Jewell said.
Eivind Sundel, left, helps Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, run a drilling simulator as she toured the exhibition floor during the Offshore Technology Conference. (Brett Coomer / Houston Chronicle)

Interior secretary to oil industry: Don’t throw regulators under the bus

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During a closed-door meeting with oil industry leaders on the sidelines of the Offshore Technology Conference, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell pleaded for cooperation and a little understanding, as federal drilling regulators aim to keep pace with rapidly evolving technology.
Marty Massey, CEO of MWCC, speaks during a well containment demonstration at OTC2013 Wednesday, May 8, 2013, at Reliant Park in Houston. ( Brett Coomer / Houston Chronicle )

Gulf emergency spill equipment put to the test

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A major shortcoming in the oil industry’s first full-scale deployment drills of emergency equipment meant to rein in runaway wells may be that the simulated wellheads deep in the Gulf of Mexico aren’t actually gushing oil and gas during those tests.
Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement's Michael Saucier left, speaks with Apache Deepwater's Terri Young right, as the bureau's Bill Lee center and Peter Hosch 2nd from right, look on during OTC 2013 at Reliant Park Tuesday, May 7, 2013, in Houston. ( James Nielsen / Houston Chronicle )

OTC attendees: Uncle Sam is looking for you

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Private businesses aren’t the only ones searching for talent at the Offshore Technology Conference. Federal regulators also are recruiting engineers and would-be inspectors to join their ranks.
Helix Well Containment Group equipment was deployed in a drill at a Noble Energy test well in May, with federal regulators and industry representatives looking on. (Photo: Noble Energy)

Feds, industry workers finish test of emergency offshore equipment

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A week-long drill testing how the oil industry and federal regulators would respond to an out-of-control Gulf of Mexico well wrapped up late Monday, with government officials deeming the exercise a success.
Interior Secretary Sally Jewell speaks during a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing in March.  (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

Interior secretary, drilling regulators to visit Offshore Technology Conference

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The nation’s top offshore drilling regulators will visit the Offshore Technology Conference on Wednesday to tour the massive exhibit floor where more than 2,000 companies have their wares on display. The newly sworn-in interior secretary, Sally Jewell, will make an appearance, alongside Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement director James Watson and Tommy Beaudreau, the head of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.
Randall Luthi, president of NOIA, National Ocean Industries Association speaks at a topical breakfast titled "Washington Politics: Offshore Consequences" May 7, 2013 in Houston at the OTC. 

(Eric Kayne/For the Chronicle) 
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Randall Luthi, president of NOIA, National Ocean Industries Association speaks at a topical breakfast titled "Washington Politics: Offshore Consequences" May 7, 2013 in Houston at the OTC.  (Eric Kayne/For the Chronicle) Randall Luthi, president of NOIA, National Ocean Industries Association speaks at a topical breakfast titled "Washington Politics: Offshore Consequences" May 7, 2013 in Houston at the OTC. 

(Eric Kayne/For the Chronicle) 
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	You forwarded this message on 5/7/2013 8:23 AM.
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 To: 	 Sebastian, Simone M
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Randall Luthi, president of NOIA, National Ocean Industries Association speaks at a topical breakfast titled "Washington Politics: Offshore Consequences" May 7, 2013 in Houston at the OTC.  (Eric Kayne/For the Chronicle)

Former regulator sees litigation threat to Gulf of Mexico drilling

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For years, offshore drilling foes have filed lawsuits challenging oil and gas development in areas around Alaska, but now that litigation is moving to new territories, potentially threatening activity in the Gulf of Mexico, a former regulator told the Offshore Technology Conference on Tuesday.
U.S. Minerals Management Service Director Randall Luthi testifies before the House Select Energy Independence and Global Warming Committee about the future of polar bears on Capitol Hill January 17, 2008 in Washington, DC. The hearing, titled "On Thin Ice: The Future of the Polar Bear, " focused on the future of the polar bear under the Endangered Species Act and the recent decision by the Interior Department to open up polar bear habitats in Alaska to new oil drilling. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Q&A: Relationship with feds improving, but uncertainty lingers

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Randall Luthi, the head of the National Ocean Industries Association and a former federal offshore drilling regulator, speaks with FuelFix about the regulatory issues that have participants buzzing during this week’s Offshore Technology Conference.
Texas Governor Rick Perry speaks during the Offshore Energy Development: Improving Federal and State Cooperation session at OTC 2013 at Reliant Park Monday, May 6, 2013, in Houston. ( James Nielsen / Houston Chronicle )

Rick Perry to Obama: Give coastal states more access & dollars

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Texas Gov. Rick Perry and five fellow Republicans from other coastal states on Monday implored the Obama administration to open new areas for offshore drilling, saying the change would give a jolt to the U.S. economy by spurring jobs and spending.