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SafeOCS ISD Phase I Report

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Industry Safety Data Program for the Oil and Gas Industry: Phase 1 Report

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) has released the Industry Safety Data Program for the Oil and Gas Industry: Phase I Report. This publication provides information on a range of safety data including reportable and non-reportable events that were observed during oil and gas operations in the Gulf of Mexico, Outer Continental Shelf from 2014 to 2017. Nine companies participated in the pilot (Phase 1) of the Industry Safety Data program. Key learnings from this report include:

  • ISD Phase I participating companies agreed on the value of sharing data for both consequential and lesser events which had the potential to lead to a major event.
  • Legal and confidentiality concerns expressed by participating companies were satisfied with the protections afforded under the Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act (CIPSEA) and with the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement between BTS and individual participating companies.
  • A process was developed to map data from individual companies to a single database thereby successfully addressing the technical challenge associated with collecting, mapping, and aggregating data from different company-specific databases.
  • The Phase I participating companies collectively identified core data fields to be shared in order to generate meaningful learning opportunities for industry to further improve safety.

Although the results described in this report represent only nine companies and thus should not be interpreted as being representative of the entire offshore industry sector, they illustrate the data analysis process that could be implemented for the industry-wide ISD Program.

2018 WCR annual report cover

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BTS releases the Highlights to the 2018 Annual Report: Blowout Prevention System Safety

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) has released the Highlights to the 2018 Annual Report: Blowout Prevention System Safety, which provides information on equipment component failures occurring during drilling and non-drilling operations on rigs in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).
From 2017 to 2018, the amount of drilling and non-drilling activity increased. Though activity increased overall, the number of operators reporting failure events, as well as the number of rigs involved in those events, decreased.

  • - In 2018, 14 of 31 operators reported 1,197 rig equipment component failure events, and the notifications involved 40 of 59 rigs operating in the GOM.
  • - In 2017, 18 of 25 operators reported 1,418 rig equipment component failure events, and the notifications involved 46 of 60 rigs operating in the GOM.
Based on the number of notifications, the top four reporting operators represented a higher percentage of failure events in 2018 as compared to 2017. External leaks (of water-based control fluids) continue to be the most frequently reported failure.
The full report is expected to be published in the summer. The 2018 Annual Report will be organized by BOP stack type (subsea and surface offshore) to highlight the unique characteristics of each and how those characteristics impact equipment component failures.


2017 WCR annual report cover

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BTS releases the 2017 Annual Report: Blowout Prevention System Safety

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) has released the 2017 Annual Report: Blowout Prevention System Safety, which provides information on equipment component failures occurring during drilling and non-drilling operations on rigs in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). The reporting of such events is mandated by the Well Control Rule (WCR), published by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), Department of the Interior. The publication of this report represents a groundbreaking collaboration between industry and government stakeholders and is a significant milestone in promoting safety on the OCS. The report includes an analysis of equipment component failures and other key information such as root causes of failure events, follow-up response to failures, and opportunities to improve data quality. In 2017, the first full year of mandated WCR reporting, 18 of 25 operators in the Gulf of Mexico reported 1,129 rig equipment component failure events, and the notifications involved 45 of 59 rigs operating in the Gulf of Mexico. The 18 reporting operators represent 90.2 percent of new wells drilled in the Gulf of Mexico. The report begins by analyzing aggregate equipment component failure data and then, in separate sections, presents statistics on the reported events for the two major types of BOP stacks (subsea and surface). Both types of BOP stacks were associated with component failures and most notifications were associated with the more complex subsea BOP stack (92.5 percent).


Key findings icon    Key Findings

  • The top four reporting operators represented 81.8 percent of reported component events and 32.7 percent of new wells spud in the Gulf of Mexico for 2017.
  • There was a decrease in overall reporting from 2016 to 2017. The event reporting rate adjusted for rig activity (defined as events per 1,000 BOP days) decreased from 122.3 in 2016 to 59.8 in 2017.
  • There was an increase in reporting equipment component failures while not in operation for rigs with subsea BOP stacks. The percent of subsea, not-in-operation notifications for 2017 was 86.4 as compared to 79.8 percent for 2016.
  • There was a decrease in the rate of unplanned stack pulls for rigs with subsea BOP stacks. In 2016 the rate was 7.2 percent and in 2017 it was 5.6 percent.
  • Based on follow-up documents submitted to SafeOCS, only 12 of the 18 components involved in unplanned stack pulls were sent to shore for further analysis by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) or a third party, despite the expectation of a root cause failure analysis (RCFA) for every stack pull.
  • Of 1,044 subsea events in 2017, one reported loss of containment of synthetic oil based mud (drilling fluid) during in-operation rig activity. No surface stack events resulted in loss of containment.
  • Leaks remained the most frequently reported observed failure and wear and tear remained the most frequently reported root cause of failure events in 2017 as they were in 2016.


Send email icon  SafeOCS@dot.gov Phone icon  1-844-OCS-FRST (1-844-627-3778) Location icon  SafeOCS, BTS-USDOT, P.O. Box 23295, Washington, DC 20026-3295