Posted March 23, 2011
With more than 60-years operating in the Gulf of Mexico, the oil and natural gas industry has a strong safety record, drilling more than 42,000 wells. Thirty percent of U.S. oil production and 13 percent of natural gas production comes from the Gulf, and these resources are a vital part of our energy security.
Moving forward, our industry can do more--and most important--it can develop the U.S. oil and natural gas resources our nation requires safely and reliably.
Last week, after extensive review and development, API announced the creation of an industry-wide Center for Offshore Safety. The Center will promote the highest level of safety for offshore operations, drawing on lessons learned to accommodate unique industry challenges, and relying on independent auditing and review by third-party certifiers.
Since the Gulf spill, the industry has taken numerous steps to further enhance safety, supplementing already-strong existing practices to help the industry maintain safe offshore operations. For example, API's recommended practice for safety and environmental management systems, API RP 75, was recently adopted by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) as part of its regulations.
Our industry's commitment to improve safety while exploring for and developing our oil and natural gas resources remains paramount. We hope that policymakers recognize the work already done and the need to rapidly restore vibrancy to the U.S. offshore oil and natural gas exploration and production program. Both the nation's energy security and our recovering economy demand it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jack N. Gerard is president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute (API), the national trade association that represents all aspects of America’s oil and natural gas industry. He also has served as the president and CEO of trade associations representing the chemical and mining industries. Jack understands how Washington works. He spent several years working in the U.S. Senate and House, and co-founded a Washington-based government relations consulting firm. A native of Idaho, Jack also is very active in the Boy Scouts of America, a university graduate program on politics, and his church’s leadership. He and his wife are the proud parents of eight children, including twin boys adopted from Guatemala.