BSEE Plans to Revise Its Well Control Rule Governing the OCS

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) recently announced proposed revisions to its Oil and Gas and Sulfur Operations in the Outer Continental Shelf – Blowout Preventer Systems and Well Control Rule. The proposed revisions will amend regulations concerning well design, well control, casing, cementing, real-time monitoring, and subsea containment in the post-Macondo world. The proposed Rule addresses some of the industry’s comments that did not make it into the Rule when it was amended in 2016. The deadline for interested parties to comment on the proposed Rule is July 10, 2018.

Some of the key changes include:
1. Clarifying rig movement reporting requirements;
2. Removing smaller lift boats from the types of vessels requiring well shut-in when they approach within 500 feet;
3. Revising the control station and pod testing schedules; and
4. Removing many of the prescriptive real-time monitoring requirements to move towards a more performance-based approach.

You can access the proposed Rule from the Federal Register here.