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Brian Salerno, director of the federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement   at the Offshore Technology Conference at the NRG Center Thursday, May 7, 2015.  Gary Coronado / Houston Chronicle )

OTC: Offshore drilling regulators want industry input on ‘next steps’ for safety management programs

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The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement will hold a workshop on the issue on July 29 in Houston aimed at getting ideas for how to strengthen the safety and environmental management systems required of companies operating offshore.
Oceaneering International displays its remotely operated underwater vehicle at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston on Monday. Oceaneering's ROVs took part in repairing damage at a blown-out well during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill five years ago.

OTC: Robots and automation offshore create new safety and cyber risks

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Increasing computerization and automation offshore open up the possibility of dangerous disruptions, driven by errant software updates and plugged-in flash drives. One incident has already taken place.
Brian Salerno, then-deputy commandant for operations for the U.S. Coast Guard, testifies during a hearing before a House subcommittee in Washington, D.C. in April 2012. Salerno now is the  head of the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement. (Petty Officer 2nd Class Etta Smith/U.S. Coast Guard)

Regulator says collaboration needed offshore

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One of the biggest obstacles in boosting the safety of offshore drilling is making sure a massive web of contractors and oil companies are working collaboratively to prevent accidents, a top federal regulator says.
Wilkinson Vinson Elkins

Commentary: Offshore rules cause some uncertainty, but goal is safety

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George O. Wilkinson, a Houston partner with Vinson & Elkins, explains why uncertainty is emerging as federal regulators move toward performance-based rules for oil and gas operators in the Gulf of Mexico
(Dado Galdieri/Bloomberg)

Regulator: Many companies holding back info in safety audits

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In the safety audits, several offshore oil and gas operators were too reluctant to give information, likely because they believed that “too much honesty might spark increased scrutiny from the regulators,” a top regulator said in Houston Thursday.
Jim Brown, partner at Houston law firm Legge, Farrow, Kimmitt, McGrath & Brown

Guest commentary: One-size-fits-all rules for offshore vessels are unrealistic

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There is universal agreement on the desire to prevent another catastrophic explosion and spill. But there is the risk of doing harm by overreaching in regulating for a safer environment.
A production facility in the Gulf of Mexico. (Simone Sebastian/Houston Chronicle)

Feds order five companies to halt offshore work

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The federal government has ordered five companies to cease their offshore oil and gas operations, after the firms failed to give regulators a required audit of safety plans newly required since the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster.
Brian Salerno, then-deputy commandant for operations for the U.S. Coast Guard, testifies during a hearing before a House subcommittee in Washington, D.C. in April 2012. Salerno now is the  head of the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement. (Petty Officer 2nd Class Etta Smith/U.S. Coast Guard)

New offshore energy regulator warns ‘risk does not discriminate’

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Three years after the Deepwater Horizon disaster and 25 years after an explosion killed 167 people on the Piper Alpha platform in the North Sea, offshore oil workers and their overseers must guard against complacency, the top U.S. offshore drilling regulator insisted Tuesday.
(Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement)

Independent auditors approved for offshore safety reviews

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The Center for Offshore Safety, an industry group developed after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010 to foster best practices for the industry, has given its approval to three initial auditing organizations for reviewing offshore companies’ safety plans.

Mike Chaudon, director of sales for Det Norske Veritas, discusses upcoming safety requirements at ImpactWeather's conference on hurricane safety in Houston. (Emily Pickrell/Houston Chronicle)

Offshore safety auditor talks about challenges ahead

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Mike Chaudron, director of sales for Det Norske Veritas Certification, one of four audit firms provisionally certified to audit offshore operators’ safety plans, talks about challenges in implementing the new federally mandated process.