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First SEMS Cycle Yields 100 Percent Compliance

by Sentry Energy Production LLC

At the recent Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, Texas, officials from the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) offered insight into the effectiveness of the Safety and Environmental Management Systems (SEMS). Implemented by the agency in June 2013, the initiative aims to decrease the occurrence and severity of offshore drilling accidents with a performance-based management process.
Following the first audit cycle, BSEE found that 96 percent of all participating operators were in compliance. Although three companies did not initially meet the first-cycle requirements, they have paid a civil penalty and reestablished compliance, thereby bringing the total amount of operators in compliance to 100 percent.
BSEE assessed a variety of audit scenarios as operators adjusted to the new requirements. Some companies simply modified their existing SEMS programs to meet the new standards, while others developed systems from the ground up. These processes revealed certain inconsistencies in the creation and implementation of SEMS programs. BSEE will draw on this information to implement improvements to the initiative ahead of the end of the second audit cycle in June 2015. The agency plans to more clearly define success in terms of operational performance, and it will bolster its support services throughout the audit process to improve the quality of operators’ reports. Furthermore, BSE will make an effort to improve data exchange practices, in addition to assessing the advantages of different risk management strategies.                            
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