Under existing federal law, the Environmental Protection Agency is obligated to review and possibly revise regulations governing the handling of oil and gas waste every three years. But the agency’s last review was 27 years ago.
From integrity sensors to measurement systems, an array of technologies can help ensure tracks are sound, said Brigham McCown, chairman of the alliance and a former head of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.
More than a dozen oil companies and drilling contractors joined leading industry trade groups in pushing back against proposed federal mandates for offshore wells they say would make some impossible to drill. The proposed requirements were spurred by the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
The Bureau of Land Management’s announcement that it would be proposing changes — and inviting public comment on the scope of them — marks the first major effort in decades to update onshore royalty rates that are among the lowest in the world.
The measure codifies many of the steps that companies have already taken to better keep offshore wells in check, including more rigorous maintenance and testing of the blowout preventers that act as a last line of defense against uncontrolled surges of oil and gas.
The Obama administration is poised to lay out new requirements for controlling offshore wells, nearly five years after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill vividly illustrated the damage that can be unleashed when they are not kept in check.
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