• 3 minutes Marine based energy generation
  • 5 minutes "Saudi Armada heading to U.S.", "Dumping" is a WTO VIOLATION.
  • 8 minutes Why Trump Is Right to Re-Open the Economy
  • 12 minutes Which producers will shut in first?
  • 9 mins A small trial finds that hydroxychloroquine is not effective for treating coronavirus
  • 52 mins Saudis to cut 4mm bbls. What a joke.
  • 23 mins Saudi Arabia Is Buying Up European Oil Majors
  • 1 hour Occidental hypocrisy
  • 3 hours Chinese Communist Party
  • 22 mins Russia's Rosneft Oil is screwed if they have to shut down production as a result of glut.
  • 2 hours US Shale Resilience: Oil Industry Experts Say Shale Will Rise Again
  • 4 hours Trump will be holding back funds that were going to W.H.O. Good move
  • 5 hours Sharp real pure true hard working roughneck needing work..
  • 5 hours Death Match: Climate Change vs. Coronavirus
  • 6 hours Get First Access To The Oilprice App!
  • 7 hours Bernie Sanders introduces bill to ban fracking
Alt Text

BP To Take Final Hit On 2010 Disaster

British Petroleum is set to…

Alt Text

The Oil Eating Bacteria That Can Clean Up Crude Spills

Scientists have discovered a rod-shaped…

Alt Text

Chinese Scientists Find New Way To Clean Up Oil Spills

Chinese scientists have invented a…

Darrell Delamaide

Darrell Delamaide

Darrell Delamaide is a writer, editor and journalist with more than 30 years' experience. He is the author of three books and has written for…

More Info

Premium Content

U.S. to Restructure Offshore Drilling Regulatory Agency in Wake of Oil Spill

The Obama administration said it will restructure the little-known agency overseeing offshore drilling, splitting is regulatory oversight duties from its lease management responsibilities – a joint task critics say is rife with conflict of interest.

U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said he will separate the safety and environmental enforcement activities of the Minerals Management Service into a separate, independent entity, after the agency has been blamed for decisions that may have led to the accident at Deepwater Horizon and the subsequent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

 “The job of ensuring energy companies are following the law and protecting the safety of their workers and the environment is a big one, and should be independent from other missions of the agency,” Salazar said in a statement.

The MMS is also responsible for leasing offshore sites, collecting the royalties due the government, and permitting of operations. Critics say these duties give the agency a vested interest in higher profit at the oil companies, which may interfere with its regulatory decisions.

The agency erupted briefly into notoriety in 2008 when the department’s inspector general found that employees in its Denver office, responsible for royalty collections, had parties with energy company representatives, had sex and used drugs with them, and accepted gifts, ski trips and golf junkets. Several of the employees were fired and others disciplined.

MMS has been blamed for specific actions that may have led to the Deepwater Horizon disaster – including a decision last year that an acoustically-controlled shut-off valve, a standard safety feature in European offshore rigs, would not be required at the site. The agency also provided a waiver to BP exempting the oil giant from conducting an environmental analysis for the site because the risk of a spill in that area of the Gulf was “minimal or nonexistent.”

According to the Center for Biological Diversity, an environmental group in Tucson, Ariz., MMS has approved 27 new offshore drilling operations since the April 20 accident in the Gulf, exempting all but one of them from environmental review. Two of the new operations approved were submitted by BP, which made the same assertions on drilling safety as it had for Deepwater Horizon, the group said.

By. Darrell Delamaide


Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage






Leave a comment

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News