Safety Bureau Identifies 36 Gas Release Hazards Offshore Gulf of Mexico

July 17, 2017–New Orleans. BSEE director participates in offshore inspections.

A recent review by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) examining compliance and incident data throughout the Gulf of Mexico revealed a potential risk associated with gas releases. During the timeframe reviewed, 31 gas release incidents were reported to BSEE by 14 unique operators. Further, the bureau issued 36 gas release incidents of non-compliance during the same timeframe.

To reduce the likelihood of future incidents, BSEE developed a protocol to conduct performance-based gas release risk inspections on 26 production platforms and 10 well operations in the Gulf of Mexico region over a two-day period.

According to the bureau’s findings,

  • Seventeen percent of the facilities involved in the inspections had documented oil or gas accumulation.
  • Eight of the 36 facilities, or 22 percent, had a non-operable gas detector, no process implemented for calibrating devices, failed a bump test or had no documentation on the frequency and/or results of inspections.
  • The facilities associated with the gas release inspections had no issues identified by BSEE staff on excessive temperatures.
  • Only one facility had an outdated electrical classification drawing, but very few facilities had warning signs to address area classification.
  • Operators’ safe work practices do not fully cover pressurized welding enclosures and are not readily available to offshore personnel.

Read the full PDF report at the BSEE offshore safety alerts page.

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