Proceedings Of The Marine

SPR 2016

Proceedings magazine is a communication tool for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety & Security Council. Each quarterly magazine focuses on a specific theme of interest to the marine industry.

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Page 17 of 70

15 Spring 2016 Proceedings The outer continental shelf (OCS) is one of the riskiest oper- ating environments the U.S. Coast Guard regulates. Under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, Coast Guard respon- sibilities include developing and implementing regulations to protect the safety of life, property, and the environment on outer continental shelf installations, vessels, and units engaged in OCS activities. One of the most effective ways to mitigate safety and envi- ronmental risk on the OCS involves using safety and envi- ronmental management systems, often referred to as SEMS, 1 which provide a framework for using policies and proce- dures to adequately manage the risk associated with an off- shore vessel or facility operation. Like Nowhere Else The OCS is a unique regulatory environment. It consists of oil and gas operators that the Bureau of Safety and Envi- ronmental Enforcement (BSEE) regulates, pipeline opera- tors who answer to the Pipeline and Hazard- ous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA), contractors who aren't directly regulated, and vessel and facility operators the Coast Guard regulates. Oil and gas operators, also known as leasehold- ers, are in the business of exploring for, devel- oping, and producing minerals on the outer continental shelf. These companies typically operate production facilities that may be fxed or floating platforms. While the leaseholders are physically present and responsible, they normally hire drilling contractors who operate mobile offshore drilling units (MODUs). OCS oil and gas operators must maintain safety and environmental management systems to manage the risks associated with these operations. Regulatory Challenges The BSEE regulations in Title 30 Code of Federal Regula- tions, Part 250, Subpart S, incorporate the American Petro- leum Institute Recommended Practice 75 for developing, implementing, and maintaining safety and environmen- tal management systems. BSEE supplements this recom- mended practice with additional SEMS program features and an audit protocol with agency oversight. The BSEE SEMS rule was published in 2010, 2 updated in 2013, 3 and has been an effective tool used by oil and gas operators to manage risks and coordinate with contractors. Pipeline operators transport oil and gas to onshore facili- ties and install and maintain subsea pipelines that make up the complex network that runs under the Gulf of Mexico. The pipelines connect BSEE-regulated offshore facilities to Mitigating Risks on the Outer Continental Shelf Safety and environmental management systems in action. by LT JAson KLing Offce of Design and Engineering Standards Human Element and Ship Design Division U.S. Coast Guard Safety Management Systems and the Outer Continental Shelf The Gulf of Mexico outer continental shelf pipeline network. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Department of Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

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