Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Proposed rule changes for US OCS operators

The US Minerals Management Service has proposed a rule that could mean more reporting requirements for operators of mobile offshore drilling units.

MMS proposed a safety and environmental system (SEMS) requirement for oil and gas operations on the Outer Continental Shelf.

“Though not directly addressed in this rulemaking, MODUs will likely feel its effect via the operator’s accountability for contractors and subcontractors,” the International Association of Drilling Contractors said in its August Drillbits newsletter.

The SEMS would consist of four parts: hazards analysis, management of change, operating procedures, and mechanical integrity. IADC believes the proposed SEMS rule could increase injury and illness record-keeping requirements.

Specifically, IADC believes the proposal means that the MODU owner needs to work with the operator to:
--Conduct a job hazard analysis to identify and evaluate hazards of all tasks for drilling operations.
--Review all operating procedure policies to ensure they reflect current practices.
--Verify procedures are in place to ensure equipment used in drilling operations are designed, fabricated, installed, and tested in a manner consistent with service requirements, manufacturer’s recommendations, and safety standards to promote safe and environmentally sound operations.


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