Lets talk oil safety as Slabbed presents an alternative view from outside the industry.

First off I’ll say that I can find something to be disagreeable with in terms of content from both the Oil Spill Commission and the local reaction to it. My main point of contention with the commission itself is philosophical in that outlier events like the Deepwater Horizon blowout are inevitable statistically.  The problem is one of degree of inevitability and in the case of the US captured regulatory model and its one size fits all cookie cutter approach I would argue the conclusions of the Oil Spill Commission are spot on when it comes to their endorsement of British style risk based safety regulation.  I think the proof it works was in a statement I heard this morning on Mississippi Edition where a member of the Oil Spill Commission observed how much more likely a US based oil worker is to die in an accident than his British or Norwegian counterpart.

Along those lines the difference in how the parts of the report focused on safety are being conveyed kinda shows how the locals in Louisiana are being sold out by those with more than a pa$$ing interest in keeping the status quo.  Mississippi Edition runs a day behind so I have no link for this morning’s interview. Here are some links on the topic.

The topic of risk and how to manage it is one that I am intimately familiar, both as a small businessman and financial blogger. When you strip away the money driven bullshit, the concepts in play here well survive the test of time.  Speaking of time, it is a scare commodity so it only makes sense that shallow water wells receive less scrutiny than those that test the limits of our current technology.  Managing safety is all about the management of risks.  To the extent each well is unique so must the approach to how the risks associated with such well be managed.  Such thinking I generally term as common sense, but then again no one said the politization of this topic is such.  That naturally makes me wonder why that political angle gets so much the airplay.

I’d love to hear what some of the risk managers that read us think about this topic.


2 thoughts on “Lets talk oil safety as Slabbed presents an alternative view from outside the industry.”

  1. Honestly, this confounds me:

    Adopt the North Sea/UK/EU regulatory standards, the safest in the world.

    End of story.

    What keeps Democrats and Republicans, locals and feds, alike from doing this?

    Ok, $$$$ to both parties, is that it? Fine. The rest to me seems like a rhetorical merry-go-round.

  2. There has always been a distinct “difference” between the marine aspects of the offshore oil industry, ie. how does a “Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit” (or even a plain old “Drill Barge”) get from Point “A” to Point “B” to drill its new hole, and the actual DRILLING operation. The marine aspects have been dealt with by Classification Societies and by International legislation such as the “International Safety Management Code”. None of this did or could have helped the mainland United States from the gross negligence and willful neglect which preceded the events of April 20, 2010. The only thing that’s really “changed” is that the Federal “Minerals Management Service”, which has always been a “toothless” incompetent institution, changed its name. Does anyone know the new name? But the reason that nothing will change is that the “new” Federal regulatory agency, like the Minerals Management Service before it, enjoys IMMUNITY from civil liability – just like the “Corpse” of Engineers had immunity, according to Duval-Daley-Fayard in the Outfall Canal cases. Unless and until this changes the citizenry are at the mercy of incompetent Federal beaurecrats who just don’t “give a shit”, because they are immune. Ashton O’Dwyer.

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