Jane Van Ryan
Posted September 7, 2010
After several weeks of intense study into the Deepwater Horizon accident, two industry task forces released their recommendations today.
These task forces, which have focused on subsea well design and oil spill response, are two of the four task forces formed by the oil and natural gas industry to examine deepwater drilling, identify any gaps that might exist affecting safety, seek solutions, and improve industry operations. The two other task forces delivered their reports to the government in May.
Today the Subsea task force announced 29 recommendations, including 15 immediate action items, that could be helpful in controlling the release of oil from its source. Many of the action items involved equipment changes and a new Containment Company (CC) formed to build and deploy a rapid response system in the unlikely event of another blowout. A few weeks ago, some of the major oil companies announced plans to create the CC and build a containment device capable of working at depths of 10,000 ft. below sea level.
Also today the Oil Spill Response task force made specific suggestions for spill response plans and training, as well as ways to improve the speed with which spill response can be ramped up. Providing a better understanding of dispersants and in-situ burning techniques is among the recommendations.
In the past 60 years, the oil and natural gas industry has safely drilled more than 42,000 wells in the Gulf of Mexico, including 2,000 deepwater wells. With today's recommendations, the industry hopes to ensure a similarly strong record of performance for the next 60 years and beyond.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jane Van Ryan was formerly senior communications manager and new media advisor at the American Petroleum Institute (API), where she wrote blog posts and produced podcasts and videos. Before coming to API, Jane managed communications for a large science and engineering corporation, and for a top-tier research and engineering university. A few years ago, you might have seen her in your living room when she delivered the news on television. Jane officially retired from API in 2011 and now freelances as an independent communications consultant when not gardening at her farm in Virginia.