Facebook   Twitter   Email
About SafeOCS header

Reporting to SafeOCS

In August 2013, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) and BTS signed an interagency agreement to develop and implement SafeOCS, a voluntary program for confidential reporting of “near misses” occurring in the OCS. This program offers a resource to help industry capture and share key lessons from significant near-miss and other safety events, with the objective of preventing, identifying, and mitigating potential high-consequence risks.

In April 2016, the SafeOCS program was expanded to include reporting of blowout prevention (BOP) system and BOP system component equipment failures as mandated by BSEE’s Well Control Rule. BTS and BSEE formally expanded the program in a memorandum of understanding signed on August 18, 2016.

BSEE published the Oil and Gas and Sulfur Operations in the Outer Continental Shelf-Blowout Preventer Systems and Well Control Final Rule (WCR) on April 29, 2016, becoming effective on July 28, 2016, as referenced in 30 CFR 250.730. WCR defines an equipment failure as any condition that prevents the equipment from meeting the functional specification and requires reporting of such failures. More specifically, pursuant to 30 CFR 250.730 (c), operators must:

  • (1) Provide a written notice of equipment failure to the Chief, Office of Offshore Regulatory Programs, and the manufacturer of such equipment within 30 days after the discovery and identification of the failure.
  • (2) Ensure that an investigation and a failure analysis are performed within 120 days of the failure to determine the cause of the failure. Further, any results and corrective action are to be documented. If the investigation and analysis are performed by an entity other than the manufacturer, the Chief, Office of Offshore Regulatory Programs and the manufacturer receive a copy of the analysis report.
  • (3) If the equipment manufacturer sends notification of any changes in design of the equipment that failed or changes in operating or repair procedures as a result of a failure, a report of the design change or modified procedures must be submitted in writing to the Chief, Office of Offshore Regulatory Programs within 30 days.

Per the memorandum of understanding, all notifications related to equipment failure are submitted to SafeOCS.

  • Who must submit a report?
    faq page banner

    All oil and gas operators on the OCS are required by BSEE to report failures of well control equipment under 30 C.F.R. § 250.730(c) of BSEE's Well Control Rule (WCR). Operators are strongly encouraged to submit WCR equipment failure reports directly to BTS as BSEE's designee for the collection of failure data and reports. BSEE has proposed a regulatory revision to clarify BSEE's option to designate a third party for this purpose. See Proposed Rule, 83 Fed. Reg. 22,128, at 22,137 (May 11, 2018).

    All oil and gas operators on the OCS are also required by BSEE to report failures of safety and pollution prevention equipment (SPPE) under 30 C.F.R. § 250.803 of BSEE's Production Safety Systems Rule. Operators are required to submit SPPE failure reports directly to BTS as BSEE's designee under the regulations for the collection of SPPE failure data and reports.

    BTS collects WCR and SPPE equipment failure reports for inclusion in SafeOCS pursuant to a 2016 memorandum of understanding (MOU) between BSEE and BTS.

  • What additional protections are offered by submitting equipment failure reports to BTS rather than directly to BSEE?

    The SafeOCS reporting system is operated by BTS. BSEE does not have access to reports you submit to BTS.

    Any reports submitted to BTS for inclusion in SafeOCS are accessible only by BTS authorized personnel and BTS-designated agents under CIPSEA. As an independent federal statistical agency, BTS has the authority and obligation under CIPSEA and the agency's authorizing statute to protect the confidentiality of your data, including but not limited to company information, personally identifiable information, and sensitive or proprietary information. By submitting to BTS, your data are protected from release to the public, BSEE, and other non-CIPSEA federal agencies. Data are also protected from subpoenas and Freedom of Information Act requests.

    In contrast, equipment failure reports submitted directly to BSEE do not enjoy CIPSEA protections, and could be subject to release under the FOIA or other authority.

  • What must be reported?

    All failures of well control equipment and SPPE must be reported. An equipment failure is any condition that prevents the equipment from meeting the functional specification or purpose.

  • When should a report be submitted?

    A written notice of equipment failure must be provided within 30 days after the discovery and identification of the failure. An investigation and a failure analysis must also be performed within 120 days of the failure to determine the cause of the failure.

  • How should reports be submitted?

    Please select the following links to submit a report:

        •   Well Control Equipment
        •   Safety and Pollution Prevention Equipment

    Each type of report links to a separate page that will request event, equipment, lease/company, and other information. All reports and follow-up investigations should be submitted to BTS.

  • For equipment failure reports required by BSEE’s Well Control Rule, why use SafeOCS for data collection rather than the Blowout Preventer (BOP) Reliability Joint Industry Project (JIP)?

    The International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) and the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (IOGP) established the BOP Reliability JIP in early 2016 to improve the safety and reliability of subsea BOPs and to standardize BOP failure reporting. The WCR Equipment Failure reporting component of SafeOCS captures data that is required per BSEE regulations, and is consistent with what is captured by the JIP. The objective of SafeOCS is to capture and analyze data from all companies as opposed to only those who are participants in the JIP. Longer term, we hope to increase the scope of data captured to include non-reportable events so that we can maximize learnings for the prevention of future events.

New SPPE Form Training Webinar on Mar. 31 and Apr. 7

We are offering additional dates for our SPPE form training webinar. The training will cover how to submit a report, an overview of recent form changes to the form, and any questions you may have.

Two identical training sessions were hosted in February. If you missed these prior sessions, please follow the registration instructions below and share this announcement with others in your organization who may benefit from this training.

  • Registration Instructions:
  • Email petrina.collier@dot.gov with your name, company/organization, and which session you wish to attend. After your registration is processed, you will receive a confirmation email with information on how to connect to the session.

** Note: The training session for both days are the same. Please select the one that best suits your schedule. **

Third Training Session:
Location: Webinar
Date: Wed. March 31
Time: 10:00 am Central time / 11:00 am Eastern time
Duration: 1 hour

Second Training Session:
Location: Webinar
Date: Wed. April 7
Time: 10:00 am Central time / 11:00 am Eastern time
Duration: 1 hour

If neither of these times works for you, please email petrina.collier@dot.gov to schedule a separate training session.

New SPPE Form in 2021

The SafeOCS program has released an updated version of the SPPE (Safety and Pollution Prevention Equipment) failure notification form. Please use the new form for all 2021 SPPE failure notifications.

Share the news about the form update with interested parties within your organization and across the industry. Interested parties include anyone who may be responsible for reporting an SPPE failure.

  • Why was the form updated?
  • The form was updated to improve the following:
    • Data quality
    • Data collection consistency
    • Data analysis and identification of learnings
  • How was the form changed?
  • This is an overview of the types of changes made to the form.
    • Added a header
    • Regrouped fields to create logical sections and better overall structure
    • Clarified text for often misused fields
    • Provided additional and remove unnecessary drop-down choices
    • Modified input field type (e.g., offer drop-down choices when appropriate)
    • Added key fields such as failure type and contact information
    • Cleaned up acronym list
  • Will there be training sessions?
  • BTS will hold a webinar (date TBD) to review the new form, highlight changes, and answer any questions. More information on the webinar, including information on how to register, is forthcoming.
  • Where do I submit completed forms?
  • Do not email completed forms. All forms must be submitted through the SafeOCS secure portal: https://safeocs.gov/sdp/sppe_home. If you do not already have an account, click “Create an Account.” Once logged in, click “Upload Word Form” to submit your completed form.

    In early 2021, you will be able to submit an online form rather than a word form. The online form is currently under construction.

  • Who should I contact with questions or concerns?
  • Please respond to this e-mail or send a message to the SPPE Program e-mail at SafeOCS@dot.gov.

Send email icon  SafeOCS@dot.gov Phoneicon  1-844-OCS-FRST (1-844-627-3778) Location icon  SafeOCS, BTS-USDOT, P.O. Box 23295, Washington, DC 20026-3295