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New offshore safety rules would make drilling some wells too difficult, industry lobbyists tell White House
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 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.
Drilling specialists have been pumping heavy fluids into a gas well 50 miles off the Louisiana coast in a bid to halt natural gas moving among underground formations at the site.
Apache is preparing to kill a Gulf of Mexico well after an uncontrolled flow of fluid in the well prompted workers to activate its blowout preventer.