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The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) issued a notice to lessees (NTL) to the offshore oil and natural gas industry regarding the development of oil spill response plans (OSRP).
The NTL provides clarification of the bureau’s application of existing regulations concerning the preparation and submittal of a regional OSRP, incorporating lessons learned from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon tragedy. The bureau has approved nearly 80 regional OSRPs since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill using the approach outlined in the NTL and working with each company individually. The NTL is intended to provide transparency and improve the efficiency of the review process.
“The Deepwater Horizon response made it clear that existing oil spill response plans were not up to the task of containing and cleaning up a massive offshore blowout,” said BSEE’s director, James A. Watson. “We have been using our existing authority to require more robust plans for some time now, and this NTL clarifies that approach for the industry and the public. It will assist the industry in preparing response plans that will provide for a rapid, effective response to a worst case scenario.”