BP sets out voluntary deepwater GoM operations standards

Offshore staff

HOUSTON – BP Exploration & Production Inc. has sent a letter to the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement setting forth a new set of standards the company will follow in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico drilling. BP says these voluntary standards exceed existing regulations.

The new voluntary standards are:

• BPXP will use, and will require its contractors involved in drilling operations to use, subsea BOPs with no fewer than two blind shear rams and a casing shear ram on all deepwater services operating in dynamic position mode. For moored rigs, the subsea BOP must have two shear rams, including at least one blind shear ram and either an additional blind shear ram or a casing shear ram.
• Each time a subsea BOP from a moored or dynamically-positioned drilling rig is brought to the surface and testing and maintenance, BPXP will require third party verification that the testing and maintenance met manufacturer recommendations and industry recommended practice (API RP 53).
• BPXP will require laboratory testing of cement slurries for primary cementing of casing and exposed hydrocarbon-bearing zones relating to deepwater drilling be conducted or witnessed by BPXP or a third party independent of the cement provider.
• BPXP's Oil Spill Response Plan will include information about enhanced measures for responding to a spill in open water, near-shore response, and shoreline spill response based on lessons learned from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

BP has taken some other related action, including establishing a real-time drilling operations center in Houston, supporting the Marine Well Containment Co., and collaborating with BOEMRE, the Ocean Energy Safety Advisory Committee, the Center for Offshore Safety, and other technology programs focusing on BOP systems.


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