cementing the well during the temporary abandonment process (BP 2010, 34). More broadly, no evidence was found to indicate that any of the critical operational decisions made while drilling the Macondo well were subjected to a formal risk assessment process (BOEMRE 2011; Presidential Commission 2011).

Summary Observation 5.5: The extent of industry training of key personnel and decision makers has been inconsistent with the complexities and risks of deepwater drilling.

Observation 5.6: There are too few standardized requirements across companies for education, training, and certification of personnel involved in deepwater drilling.

Near-Miss Information

Gathering and disseminating near-miss information can play an important role in avoiding accidents. Worldwide, governments have different requirements for recording and retaining drilling information, including near-miss well-control incidents. Current and past efforts in the United States to collect and disseminate relevant data on well drilling generally rely on the mandatory reporting of accidents resulting in pollution events, injuries, or fatalities. There is no program analogous to the Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) in U.S. civil aviation, which allows airline pilots and other crew members to provide near-miss information on a confidential basis. ASRS, which is based on voluntary reporting and is administered by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, analyzes the information and makes it available to the public and across the aviation industry for educational purposes to lessen the likelihood of aviation incidents and accidents.

For years, companies and contractors in the oil and gas industry have collected drilling data on all offshore wells. Information on kicks, well pressures, and other aspects of wells is included. Shell, Statoil, and several other companies have developed real-time drilling monitoring centers to collect that information, and on-shore personnel oversee the data streams. The sophistication of these centers varies, and how the data are used differs from company to company. However, many offshore operations do not have real-time monitoring centers.

In a report from the Society of Petroleum Engineers, members indicated that the drilling industry is generally not willing to “publicly share information about all errors, omissions, and questionable results because of the potential for liability, legal partner issues, competitive pressures, and unpredictability of court

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