Stricter Rules For Deep-Water Drilling

In an effort to prevent another environmental catastrophe like the BP oil spill, the Interior Department issued a new set of rules Thursday aimed at improving safety for deep-water offshore drilling. The new rules mean the resumption of deep-water oil and gas drilling, put on hold following the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, is not far off. “There are a series of technological and safety reforms that this administration is very serious about implementing, that need to be implemented and secured prior to the lifting of that moratorium,” said White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. The new “drilling safety rule” tightens standards for the use of drilling fluids, well-bore casing, cementing in an exploratory well, and requires companies to improve the efficacy of blowout preventers–since BP’s blowout preventer failed. In addition, the new “workplace safety rule” requires oil and gas companies to develop better plans for dealing with worst-case scenarios when it comes to spills.