be best practice and will aid in the overall understanding of the development and implementation of BAST.

•   Workshops would evaluate technology readiness in given areas of current and future needs. They could help in accelerating efforts to adopt candidate technologies.10

•   Low-likelihood, high-consequence scenario planning should receive consideration. The question of what should be done in the extremely rare event with high consequence deserves the attention and leadership of BSEE, with the support of technical leaders from industry. Such planning should not exclude the assessment of likelihood of occurrence, but neither should it become an esoteric exercise in competing risk assessment approaches, such as quantitative risk assessment, probabilistic risk assessments, and risk matrices.

•   Cold-eye assessment is a concept under which those with expertise are brought in to evaluate a situation. In this application, BSEE could empanel experts to aid in its reviews of topics for which its internal expertise is not sufficient. A deepwater operation plan with new and unusual technology features might be an example of such a situation. Other examples could be related to longer-term evaluations of specific or general technology assessments.

•   Industry, through its many associations and joint industry projects, has ongoing suites of programs to evaluate current technology status and future needs. Recognizing that budget funds are limited, BSEE should evaluate options and explore opportunities to join selected studies as full paying members or, as sometimes is offered, as an observer.


Having considered options for the establishment and evaluation of BAST, the committee recognizes that there will be many challenges in creating the structures and environment that will reliably bring the best technologies to the attention of both operating companies and the regulator and that will allow the regulator to assess fully the net benefits of applying these technologies in offshore operations.

OESI, as currently proposed by BSEE, is the beginning of a process that could provide BSEE with the tools and expertise to evaluate systems and technologies and identify those materially improving safety in offshore operations.

While the direction proposed in the BSEE announcement of OESI is good, the scale and structure of the institute will need to expand to address the challenges posed in the offshore environment. More than 3 years since Macondo, industry activity has increased to the point where approximately 70 drilling rigs were active in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico in July 2013, and a steady stream of large development projects are ongoing or planned.11 With industry spending


10BSEE, 1st Domestic and International Standards Workshop, November 14-15, 2012.

11 Accessed September 25, 2013.

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