Energy futuresOil industry creates center for off-shore safety

Published 21 March 2011

Following several accidents on off-shore oil rigs, the U.S. oil and gas industry will launch a center dedicated to investigating safety issues related to off-shore drilling; the center will be operated by the American Petroleum Institute (API) but will be walled off from the trade group’s lobbying work

Safety investigations may lead to improved standards // Source:

The oil and gas industry’s main trade group will launch a new, Houston-based offshore safety institute, similar to a recommendation by a presidential commission that investigated the Deepwater Horizon accident.

The new Center for Offshore Safety will be operated by the American Petroleum Institute (API) but walled off from the trade group’s lobbying work. The Houston Chronicle reports that it will fall under API’s global industry standards group, which has a decades-long history establishing guidelines and standards for industry equipment and practices.

API president Jack Gerard said in a statement that the center will “promote the highest level of safety for offshore operations, through an effective program that addresses management practices, communication and teamwork.”

Details on how the institute will be staffed and funded are still under discussion, an institute spokesman said, but it will most likely have its own full-time staff and offices and won’t be housed with one of the many local API member companies.

The safety institute would be subject to independent, third-party auditing and verification to ensure its integrity, API said.

The Chronicle notes that the creation of a safety institute was one of many recommendations made earlier this year by a presidential commission that investigated last year’s Macondo well blowout that destroyed the Deepwater Horizon rig, killed eleven workers and spilled millions of barrels of crude into the Gulf of Mexico.

API has said it started looking into the idea of a safety institute soon after the spill began last 20 April.