OGJ Washington Editor
WASHINGTON, DC, June 13 -- The US Bureau of Offshore Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement will begin using multiperson teams for offshore oil and gas inspections, BOEMRE Director Michael R. Bromwich announced. The internal process improvement will let teams inspect multiple operations simultaneously and thoroughly, enhancing the quality of inspections on larger facilities, he said.
“We are bolstering our inspection program with additional resources and new approaches,” Bromwich explained on June 13. “As more inspectors are hired, we will be deploying multidisciplinary inspection teams instead of individual inspectors, providing broader oversight to ensure that offshore operators are complying with federal regulations and conducting their operations in a safe and environmentally responsible manner.”
He said reviews and inspections by US President Barack Obama’s independent oil spill commission, the US Department of the Interior’s Office of Inspector General, DOI’s Safety Oversight Board, and numerous US House and Senate committees have highlight the need to reform BOEMRE’s inspections program.
In addition to on-the-job training, BOEMRE recently established the National Offshore Training Center and is training inspectors with the agency’s first formal training curriculum. It recently held an initial introductory course for 13 inspectors and plans to develop 24 more courses covering specific offshore inspections areas. BOEMRE also is looking for someone to direct the training program, it said.
It said that the multidisciplinary team approach and the need for a national training program were recommended by BOEMRE’s inspections strategies implementation team, one of several internal teams that have been analyzing critical aspects of the agency’s structures, functions and processes, and implementing needed changes.
BOEMRE will continue to focus its recruiting efforts to attract more subject matter experts to bolster existing expertise in the bureau’s district offices, it said. Specifically, the bureau said that it wants to expand expertise in well operations, production operations, safety and environmental management systems, accident investigations, measurement systems, and deepwater drilling.
The agency presently has 79 inspectors working in the Gulf of Mexico, up from 54 on Apr. 20, and has 5 more in different phases of the hiring process, a BOEMRE spokesman told OGJ.
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BOEMRE to use multiperson teams for offshore inspections