Recommendation 6.17: BSEE should work with other federal agencies to delegate supporting regulatory responsibilities and accountabilities for ensuring system safety, integrating all aspects of system safety for the parts of offshore drilling operations in which a particular agency is involved (Table 6-1). BSEE should strive to involve the domain expertise and core competencies of the other relevant agencies. BSEE should have purview over integrating regulation, inspection, and monitoring enforcement for all aspects of system safety for offshore drilling operations.

Recommendation 6.18: BSEE should work with other federal agencies to develop efficient and effective mechanisms for investigating future accidents and incidents.

Net Assessment of Risk

Recommendation 6.19: DOI should require BSEE to provide the Secretary of the Interior with a net assessment of the risks of future drilling activities so that such risks can be factored into decisions with regard to new leases. Focusing on system safety, the assessment should be a formal probabilistic risk analysis that evaluates risks associated with all operations having the potential for significant harm to individuals, environmental damage, or economic loss. The operations addressed by the assessment should include drilling and well construction, temporary well abandonment, oil and gas production, and eventual well abandonment.

Responsibility and Accountability

Summary Recommendation 6.20: Operating companies should have ultimate responsibility and accountability for well integrity, because only they are in a position to have visibility into all its aspects. Operating companies should be held responsible and accountable for well design, well construction, and the suitability of the rig and associated safety equipment. Notwithstanding the above, the drilling contractor should be held responsible and accountable for the operation and safety of the offshore equipment (see Chapter 5).9

Recommendation 6.21: In carrying out its regulatory responsibilities, BSEE should view operating companies as taking full responsibility for the safety of offshore equipment and its use.


9This recommendation is also presented in Chapter 5 as Recommendation 5.1.

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