The head of the U.S. Interior Department's Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) will be stepping down from the position later this year. In September, James Watson, the nation's top offshore drilling regulator, will transition to a new role as president and chief operating officer of the Americas division of ABS, a marine and offshore classification society.
Watson said he is leaving the BSEE for the "perfect job" that matches his background as a naval architect and marine safety expert, Fuel Fix reported.
Watson helped "implement the most aggressive and comprehensive offshore oil and gas regulatory reforms in the nation's history," Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said.
As director of the BSEE, Watson worked to protect the environment and conserve U.S. resources by enforcing regulations on offshore energy operations, Marine Log reported. Before joining the BSEE, he served as the U.S. Coast Guard's director of prevention policy for marine, safety, security and stewardship
"Jim's understanding of the critical safety issues the offshore sector is facing today will enable ABS to enhance the level of service we are able to provide to government and industry," said ABS Chairman and CEO Christopher Wiernicki.