IADC Comment on BSEE Blowout Preventer/Well Control Requirements

Houston (27 April 2018) – In response to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement’s (BSEE) announcement today of its intention to issue a proposed rule to revise the existing regulations for blowout preventer systems, well control, and real-time monitoring, IADC President Jason McFarland issued the following statement:

“BSEE’s April 2016 well control rule was intended in large part to address perceived regulatory shortfalls with regard to offshore drilling equipment and processes following the Macondo/Deepwater Horizon tragedy. Throughout that rulemaking process, IADC joined with other stakeholders in carefully considering each of the proposed provisions and provided detailed comments suggesting changes to improve it. Many of these suggested changes were adopted; some were not. Since the April 2016 rule was issued, IADC and its members have strongly asserted the need to reconsider certain provisions that we believe are overly prescriptive, do not enhance the safety of operations and in some cases increase, rather than decrease, risk.”

“As the owners and operators of drilling rigs and blowout preventers, IADC members have been acutely impacted by some provisions of the rule. Far from advocating scrapping the entire well control rule or other rules issued after Macondo, as some opponents of today’s proposal have argued, IADC has asked that the well control rule’s requirements be appropriately refined to increase their effectiveness while removing those provisions that add unnecessary costs without increasing safety, and it sounds like this is exactly what BSEE has done through its surgical approach in its revision of the rule.

“It’s important to consider how much has been done since the Macondo incident to improve offshore safety. Industry did not wait for BSEE to issue regulations, but proactively made major changes to operations and procedures. More than 100 offshore standards have been created or strengthened since 2010 to improve safety and many more are under active revision, and state-of-the-art intervention and response capabilities have been developed. These and other actions, including the creation of the Center for Offshore Safety and wholesale revisions to IADC’s own programs for well control training and accreditation are indicative of a strong and continuous commitment by industry to protect against future well control incidents.”

“While it will take some time to review the technical requirements of the proposal, based on the fact sheet provided today, we are optimistic that BSEE has listened to input from all stakeholders and incorporated that feedback in the proposal.”


Since 1940, the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) has exclusively represented the worldwide oil and gas drilling industry. IADC’s mission is to catalyze improved performance for the drilling industry by enhancing operational integrity and championing better regulation to facilitate safer, cleaner and more efficient drilling operations worldwide. For more information, visit the IADC website at www.iadc.org.