Luthi: Lessons from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

randall op edWashington Times | April 20, 2016 | Randall Luthi

This month marks the sixth anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The waters of the Gulf of Mexico and communities along the Gulf Coast have recovered from the effects of the spill and federally imposed moratorium. Even as studying and monitoring continue to identify where to focus additional restoration activities, the anniversary of the tragic accident that triggered the spill and claimed the lives of 11 brave men is a powerful reminder that safety isn’t just a priority, but the No. 1 priority, for the oil and gas industry.

Since 2010, the industry, in cooperation with government, has taken action to make accessing America’s offshore oil and natural gas resources safer than ever before. They have enhanced spill prevention, containment and response; revised existing standards and regulations and created new ones; and worked hard to foster a strong industry safety culture.

For example, the industry has established the Center for Offshore Safety, which works with the regulatory community to make sure that the latest advances in safety technologies and practices are shared throughout the industry and across the country. New containment and gathering systems also stand ready to deploy at a moment’s notice in the event of a future spill, and coordination among public and private entities has been vastly improved.

All of this hard work has helped the industry perform a near miracle. U.S. oil production has increased by 70 percent, and the country has become the world’s largest oil and gas producer. The price of crude oil has fallen by 50 percent and gasoline is a dollar a gallon cheaper. Consumers are better off and thousands of jobs have been created. Offshore production has made an important contribution to that miracle.

Read the full editorial here.

Randall Luthi is the President of the National Ocean Industries Association