Maritime and drilling regulators recently vowed to keep a closer watch on oil companies and contractors that they say are consistently cutting corners on offshore safety. The Coast Guard delivered that message to oil industry representatives on the final day of the Offshore Technology Conference in May 2014.
The Coast Guard will consider launching unannounced inspections of offshore vessels after some logged more than 5 deficiencies during scheduled probes. The Coast Guard already conducts unannounced inspections of some cruise ships. That same model could be applied to other offshore oil and gas vessels with bad track records.
A spate of recent accidents have highlighted the risks of offshore oil and gas exploration. In its probe of a fatal Gulf of Mexico oil platform blast that killed 3 offshore workers in November 2012, the Coast Guard blamed Houston based Black Elk Energy and its contractor for failing to make sure areas were cleared of explosive gas before welding.
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