209110 A Spaghetti Western: Introduction to Safety Cases for Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Drilling

Monday, March 14, 2011: 11:00 AM
Columbus KL (Hyatt Regency Chicago)
John F. Kill1, Morris E. Burch1, Jeremy Goddard1, Kevin G. Kinsella2 and Marlane J. Kayfes1, (1)North America Risk Practice, Environmental Resources Management, Houston, TX, (2)Environmental Resources Management, Manchester, England

Since the April 2010 rig explosion and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, factions of the U.S. oil and gas industry, including regulators, have jockeyed to identify what to do (and not do) in reaction to the event.

While U.S. regulatory officials want to increase safety in deepwater drilling, the industry tends to balk at the thought of more regulation. In May 2010, the Department of Interior recommendations included to initiate a safety case regime such as that in the United Kingdom, Australia, and other countries. And some members of oil-and-gas exploration and production industry already are preparing for that eventuality, beginning to create safety cases for U.S. offshore assets.

To address varying degrees of knowledge about safety cases, this paper is a primer of the history and growing pains of safety case regimes worldwide, principles and elements of safety cases, and their implementation. It addresses what makes a safety case effective and ineffective—the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Extended Abstract: File Uploaded