Weekly Compliance Digest – BSEE Expansion of SafeOCS Program
Expansion of the SafeOCS program to pollution prevention equipment
What is it?
On October 26, 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) announced the expansion of the SafeOCS program beyond near miss reporting to now include the confidential collection of equipment failure data in an effort to further reduce the risk of offshore incidents.
The SafeOCS Confidential Reporting System collects and analyzes data to advance safety in oil and gas operations on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). BSEE and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) jointly developed and implemented SafeOCS initially as a voluntary program for confidential reporting of near misses occurring on the OCS. Subsequently, SafeOCS was expanded to develop an industry-wide data repository for barrier failure data as referenced in recently issued BSEE regulations at 30 CFR 250.730(c) (81 FR 25887, April 29, 2016).
SafeOCS aims to expand the ability of BTS, BSEE, and the offshore oil and gas industry to capture essential information about accident precursors and potential hazards associated with offshore operations, including risks related to pipeline safety and transport in offshore.
Who is affected?
There are more than 3,000 facilities located on the OCS that are involved in the collection and treatment of oil and gas collected from oil and gas wells. The expansion of the SafeOCS program affects operators of such facilities who may report equipment failure.
What are the requirements?
The offshore oil and gas industry will have the option to submit equipment failure reports for well control equipment, required under the Well Control Rule (30 CFR 250.730(c)), directly through SafeOCS. Furthermore, as of this Monday November 7, 2016, the industry is required to submit reports for pollution prevention equipment, required under the Production Safety Systems Rule (30 CFR 250.803), through SafeOCS as the designee of the Chief of BSEE’s Office of Offshore Regulatory Programs. All reports submitted through SafeOCS are collected and analyzed by BTS and are protected from release under the Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act (CIPSEA), BSEE says.
In addition to the requirement to submit reports for pollution prevention equipment through SafeOCS, there are also other requirements connected to the Production Safety Systems Rule. The rule became effective on Monday November 7, 2016. However, compliance with certain provisions of the rule is deferred until September 7, 2017 and March 1, 2018.
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