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Project Title:

Effectiveness of Safety and Environmental Management Systems for Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Operations Original Title: Committee on Offshore Oil and Gas Facility Inspection Program of the Minerals Management Service: A Review
PIN: TRB-SSP-09-03        

Major Unit:

Transportation Research Board

Sub Unit: Studies and Special Programs Division

RSO: Huey, Beverly

Subject/Focus Area: Transportation and Infrastructure

Project Scope
Original Scope:
This project will review the MMS inspection program for offshore facilities to assess its effectiveness in protecting human safety and the environment. The study committee appointed to conduct the review will:
Examine changes in the inspection program and process since the 1990 study by the Marine Board;
Review available trend data on inspections, safety, and environmental damage;
Examine analogous safety inspection programs in other regulatory agencies and other nations for lessons that could be applied to MMS inspections;
Consider changes in industry's safety management practices since the 1990 Marine Board report and the implications of these changes for MMS inspection practices;
Consider the effects of the current inspection program on offshore safety and environmental protection; and
Recommend changes, as appropriate, to the inspection program to enhance effectiveness.

Revised Scope, January 2011:

This project will recommend a method for assessing the effectiveness of an operator's Safety and Environmental Management System (SEMS) on any given offshore exploration or production facility. In addition, the committee will prepare a brief interim report in April 2011 that will provide a listing of potential methods for assessing effectiveness along with the pros and cons of each method as they are known to that point. The committee will address methods to maximize the implementation effectiveness of individual SEMS rather than the adequacy of the Final Rule of October 2010 requiring SEMS to mitigate safety and environmental risk of offshore platform operations.

The committee's assessment of effective methods will focus on the safety and environmental risks of offshore production until after the release of the report of the NAE/NRC Committee for the Analysis of Causes of the Deepwater Horizon Explosion, Fire, and Oil Spill to Identify Measures to Prevent Similar Accidents in the Future, which is expected in June 2010. The committee's assessment of effective methods for safety and environmental risks of exploration drilling will take into account the findings and recommendations of the NAE/NRC committee.

The Project is sponsored by the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation & Enforcement

The approximate start date for the project was September 1, 2009

The interim report will be issued by summer 2011 and a final report at the conclusion of the project

Note: The Project Scope was updated in January 2011 and is as shown above. The project duration was also extended.

Project Duration: 28 months    

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Committee Membership
Committee Membership

 Meeting 1 - 12/08/2009
 Meeting 2 - 03/22/2010
 Meeting 3 - 05/12/2010
 Meeting 4 - 03/03/2011
 Meeting 5 - 08/31/2011
 Meeting 6 - 10/19/2011
 Meeting 7 - 12/01/2011


Reports having no URL can be seen
at the Public Access Records Office
Interim Report on the Effectiveness of Safety and Environmental Management Systems for Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Operations
Evaluating the Effectiveness of Offshore Safety and Environmental Management Systems