The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI ) issued a final rule August 15, 2012, for offshore drilling safety. Intended to prevent occurrences like the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the rule updates an interim emergency rule issued in September 2010. The rule establishes new casing-installation and cementing requirements, and requires (i) independent third-party verification of blind-shear ram capability, (ii) new casing- and cementing-integrity tests, and (iii) that a registered professional engineer certify casing and cementing requirements.
The rule also includes new requirements for blowout preventers (BO Ps): (i) independent third-party verification of subsea BO P stack compatibility, (ii) subsea secondary BO P intervention, (iii) function testing for subsea secondary BO P intervention, and (iv) BO P inspections and maintenance documentation. The rule also establishes new requirements for specific well control training to include deepwater operations.