BSEE Raising Inspection Time Offshore

The key is using technology that allowing for access to electronic records onshore, giving inspectors significantly more time to inspect operations offshore and work to ensure safe operations at more than 2,200 facilities in the Gulf of Mexico.

Beginning April 1, the federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) is increasing the time inspectors spend offshore while at the same time reducing helicopter operating expenses by 15 percent. The agency said a team of its leaders in the Gulf of Mexico Region developed the new approach it has adopted.

"We streamlined how inspectors do their job offshore while achieving a significant cost savings," said Michael Saucier, regional supervisor for District Field Operations, Gulf of Mexico Region. "This new process will allow BSEE inspectors to increase physical inspection time on offshore oil and gas facilities."

The key is using technology that allowing for access to electronic records onshore, giving inspectors significantly more time to inspect operations offshore and work to ensure safe operations at more than 2,200 facilities in the Gulf of Mexico. "This approach greatly improves our inspectors' efficiency, increasing safety oversight at OCS facilities," said Director Scott A. Angelle. "Our team developed a smarter, safer strategy that provides more physical inspection time offshore and reduces government costs."

The agency also announced it has implemented a new quality assurance process for reviewing and assessing its permitting systems. The new process seeks to reflect on permits issued by the agency and helps inform best practices for offshore energy permitting. A directive issued by BSEE's Office of Offshore Regulatory Programs requires the agency to conduct periodic review and assessment of permitting processes for consistency, timeliness, and efficiency across the various districts and regions within the agency. "We owe it to the American people to ensure that our permit processes are efficient and decision making practices are consistent," said Angelle. "Taking these actions now will promote BSEE's effective monitoring of permit processes and provide an avenue to progress towards overall improvements such as decreased processing delays."

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