oil rigThe Center for Offshore Safety hosted leaders from industry, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, and the U.S. Coast Guard last week for an in-depth discussion of efforts to enhance the safety of offshore oil and natural gas development.

COS Executive Director Charlie Williams said his organization has worked with independent safety and environmental management system (SEMS) auditors and government to reinforce the industry’s safety culture and helping to spread best practices.

The event included two expert panel discussions with representatives from ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell, Statoil, the International Association of Drilling Contractors, and the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers. The first panel covered safety systems in the U.S. and around the world, looking at aspects such as effectiveness, challenges and harmonization. The second panel focused on actions, processes, leadership requirements, and success factors for building strong safety cultures.

“Increasing our collective knowledge helps each and every company improve safety through better operations, practices and communication.” said Williams.

Keynote presentations from BSEE Director Brian Salerno and USCG Rear Admiral Joseph Servidio opened and closed the half-day event, part of COS’ sponsorship of the 2014 Offshore Technology Conference. Their presentations focused on collaborative efforts by BSEE and the USCG to help industry improve operations through Safety Management Systems, ways to improve these systems, and growing a strong safety culture offshore. BSEE has already adopted three COS guidelines into its own regulations.

COS also announced during the event the winners of its 2014 Safety Leadership Awards, created this year to recognize and encourage outstanding contributions to improving safety management. Diamond Offshore Company was recognized in the contractor category, and Chevron North America E&P and ExxonMobil Corporation were recognized in the operator category.

The Center for Offshore Safety is an industry-led initiative to promote safety improvement for offshore drilling, completions, and operations through effective leadership, communication, teamwork, disciplined management systems, and independent third-party auditing and certification. COS draws on expertise and input from the U.S. oil and natural gas offshore industry and the regulatory community. Learn more about COS at www.centerforoffshoresafety.org.