Deepwater drilling

Sheila McNulty

A year after the Macondo disaster, the industry has pulled together in the US and built not one but two spill containment systems. These systems are really state-of-the-art and aimed at containing a massive spill in the deep water.

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Sheila McNulty

What a difference a year makes….or does it? Certainly activity in the Gulf of Mexico remains slow following the Macondo disaster. But it is moving again. And, despite all the talk about how the US risked driving away the industry by tightening up processes and procedures, just about everyone is still here.
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Kiran Stacey

[Michael Bromwich] In this week’s readers’ Q&A session, Michael Bromwich, director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, answers your questions.
In this second post, he discusses the reliability of blowout preventers (BOPs), the future of drilling in Alaska, and whether commercial concerns dictate his decision making. Read more

Kiran Stacey

In this week’s readers’ Q&A session, Michael Bromwich, director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, answers your questions.
In the first of two posts, he discusses how his organisation balances safety concerns with political ones, what technological improvements have been made since the BP oil spill and whether new regulations on blowout preventers (BOPs) will delay the issue of new permits. Read more

Kiran Stacey

The chief regulator of US offshore oil drilling has dismissed warnings from the industry about the risk to oil output from delays in issuing new permits. Read more

Sheila McNulty

President Barack Obama is calling on oil companies to increase production in the US, accusing them of sitting on tens of millions of unused and unexplored acres of leases on public land waiting to be tapped. But this must be put in context. Read more

Sheila McNulty

The oil and gas industry has been afraid there might be repercussions from the recent investigation that found Macondo’s blowout preventer failed to close because a section of drill pipe had buckled during the accident and blocked efforts to seal it off.  Read more

Sheila McNulty

Deepwater Horizon explosionIt turns out the reason why the blowout preventer on BP’s Macondo well failed to close was because a section of drill pipe had buckled inside the well during the accident and blocked efforts to seal it off. This is according to Det Norske Veritas, a consultancy hired by the US interior department to investigate why the blowout preventer failed.

Cameron International, the maker of the blowout preventer, responded:

The BOP was designed and tested to industry standards and customer specifications. We continue to work with the industry to ensure safe operations.

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Sheila McNulty

Ken Salazar, the US interior secretary, and Michael Bromwich, director of the US oceans regulator, held a press conference amid great fanfare on Monday to unveil that they had approved a plan by Shell for deepwater oil and gas exploration. Read more

FT Energy Source

- Industry thrown into turmoil
- Companies feel effects of Macondo disaster
- Opportunities west of Shetland
- Ice thaws on Canadian oil sands projects
- Huge prize lies under pristine Arctic wilderness
- Shale extraction technology leads to oversupplied market
- Two different disasters will have profound effects on US energy policy
- UK suffers from legacy of North Sea gas abundance
- Plant power seen as only viable long-term alternative to petrol Read more