MMS's Annual SAFE Awards Luncheon is usually held in conjunction with the mammoth oil industry trade show, the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston. The SAFE Awards honor those companies with exemplary safety and environmental performance during the previous year. The evaluation is based on records from MMS's active inspection programs.
This year's SAFE Awards Luncheon, scheduled during next week's OTC, has been postponed due to the ongoing Deepwater Horizon incident.
Oh, by the way, among the 2010 SAFE Award finalists: BP Exploration & Production Inc.
The President promised today to send Department of the Interior "SWAT teams" offshore "to investigate oil rigs".
For years, the MMS has had an active inspection program for drilling rigs and production platforms. Violators may receive "warning INCs" (for Incident of Non-Compliance) for minor technical violations to civil penalties for more serious violations of the regulations.
For FY 2010, Congress directed MMS to raise $10 million from operators by, for the first time, charging a fee for inspections. Fees range from $2,000 to $6,000 per platform.Our small company had an overnight effective tax increase of $25,000.
So, this spectacle of the government suddenly acting as if all that is needed is "more inspection" is pretty much what I was expecting.
Cross-posted at VladEnBlog.