Oil spillA new report from the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and the National Research Council (NRC) on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill says offshore regulators need ongoing training, recruitment, funding and research and development in order to be effective.

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said the final report into the root causes of the disaster provided lessons for the improvement of offshore drilling safety.

“This independent, science-based analysis of what went wrong in the lead up to the blowout has helped to affirm the tremendous efforts we have made in the last 18 months to raise the bar for safety and oversight of offshore oil and gas operations," Salazar said. “The work we have done to implement rigorous new offshore drilling and safety rules and reform offshore regulation and oversight is in line with the recommendations of the Committee and with our goals moving forward.”

In the wake of the Deepwater Horizon tragedy, the Obama Administration put in place significant new safeguards to protect the environment, including heightened drilling safety standards to reduce the chances that a loss of well control might occur in the first place, as well as a new focus on containment capabilities in the event of a blowout or oil spill.

More information on new applicable regulations and standards for both shallow and deepwater drilling operations is available at: www.bsee.gov/About-BSEE/Reforms/Reforms.aspx.

“Today’s report reaffirms many of my top priorities for BSEE – full staffing of our new National Offshore Training and Learning Center, as well as enhancements and improvements to our offshore regulatory and enforcement programs,” said Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) Director James Watson. “The NAE and NRC team has identified critical issues that demand action by both the federal government and industry, and we remain committed to ongoing discussions and collaboration as we move forward in building a strong and independent agency with the resources and expertise to provide aggressive oversight of offshore oil and gas operations.”