The dangers of shallow water drilling are acknowledged in a new report stating, “there is a fire once every three days on offshore oil facilities…Including 16 on Mariner Energy’s platforms since 2007”. This was released on the heels of yet another explosion occurring on a Mariner Energy shallow water platform. The press release stated that these offshore wells were approved for, “the same type of environmental waiver used to approve BP’s disastrous Deepwater Horizon project”. Waivers like these have been banned for use by deep water drilling platforms but surprisingly, nothing has been done to stop the continued use of these waivers for shallow drilling.
The use of these waivers is, “a dangerous way for government to do business” and “[the Obama administration] should require that all drilling operations get the regulatory scrutiny they badly need”. The article express a keen concern over lack of regulation for shallow water drilling which can cause severe damage to the environment and poses a danger to those that work on the shallow drilling platforms. One startling piece of evidence that the article sites from the now dismantled Mineral Management Service acknowledged that, “in a 2007 report that most well blowouts happened at wells in water depths of less than 500 feet”. If this is the case then regulation is badly needed for shallow drilling occurring in the Gulf and around the world.
Title: Offshore Wells Connected with Exploded Platform in Gulf of Mexico Approved without Environmental Review
Author: Peter Galvin
Source: Common Dreams.org
Faculty Evaluator: Erv Peterson, Sonoma State University
Student Researcher: Jordan Hall, Sonoma State University