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New Offshore Safety Agency

As part of its efforts to strengthen offshore safety in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico oil rig explosion, the federal administration has announced that it will soon establish an agency that will solely be dedicated to offshore safety.

Major changes have been made to offshore safety since the Deepwater Horizon explosion, the Minerals Management Services evolved into the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. There’ll now be a new Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement which will focus on the safety aspects of offshore drilling. It’s still not clear which agency will be responsible for issuing drilling permits.

In April 2010, the oil rig Deepwater Horizon operated by BP, exploded killing 11 workers and leading to the worst offshore oil spill in US history. According to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, it is unlikely to issue new offshore drilling permits at the same rate with which it used to in the years before the Gulf of Mexico explosion. There are likely to be further delays in issuing offshore drilling permits.

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