WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of
Transportation Statistics (BTS) and the U.S. Department of the
Interior's Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE)
today announced the expansion of reporting of ‘near misses’ on the
Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) through the SafeOCS program to now
include the confidential collection of equipment failure data in
an effort to further reduce the risk of offshore incidents.
Effective immediately, the offshore oil and gas industry will have the option to submit equipment failure reports for well control equipment, required under the Well Control Rule (30 CFR 250.730(c)), directly through SafeOCS. Effective Nov.7, industry will be required to submit reports for pollution prevention equipment, required under the Production Safety Systems Rule (30 CFR 250.803), through SafeOCS as the Chief’s designee. All reports submitted through SafeOCS are collected and analyzed by BTS and are protected from release under the Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act (CIPSEA).
"We are encouraging industry to quickly begin taking advantage of the SafeOCS expansion," said BSEE Director Brian Salerno. "Shared awareness of safety trends better equips us all to quickly focus on emerging issues and thereby drive down the risk of serious incidents."
In August 2013, BSEE and BTS signed an interagency agreement to develop and implement SafeOCS, as a voluntary program for confidential reporting of ‘near misses’ occurring on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). Today’s expansion enables the SafeOCS system to be used to submit these required regulatory reports.
For notification forms, guidance, and additional information - or to submit reports, go to www.safeocs.gov.
The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), a principal federal statistical agency, entered an interagency agreement with the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) in 2013, and subsequently signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2016 to implement and operate the SafeOCS program. The SafeOCS program is a resource for industry members to share key observations and lessons from equipment and safety-related events. Its objective is to identify potential high-consequence risks from aggregated, industry-wide data; and share findings to mitigate risks. BTS first began collecting data on equipment component failures as required by BSEE’s Well Subpart H – Oil and Gas Production Safety Systems Final Rule in December 2016. This report is based on data collected in 2017.
The 2017 annual report: Oil and Gas Production Safety System Failures, produced by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), summarizes safety and pollution prevention equipment (SPPE) failures on production well facilities in the outer continental shelf (OCS), with reports received from one region, the Gulf of Mexico, during this reporting period. It includes an analysis of equipment component failures and other key information such as failure causes, operational impacts, and data quality.
SPPEs are valves and actuators designed to stop the flow of oil, gas, and water from wells for safety, pollution prevention, maintenance, or other operational reasons. They will automatically close when triggered by the safety system due to an operation outside of prescribed limits, the presence of gas or fire detected on the platform. The majority of the reported failures were detected during required periodic testing, which is performed to find and remove latent failures.
In 2017, the first full year of mandated SPPE reporting, 9 out of 59 production operators in the Gulf of Mexico reported 112 failures. The remaining 50 operators did not report any failures during this time period. The 9 reporting operators represent 15 percent of the total operators, 35 percent of active wells, and 40 percent of total oil production from the Gulf of Mexico. None of the reported SPPE events were associated with a Health, Safety, and Environment (HSE) incident.