The year 2015 marks the fifth anniversary of the infamous BP oil spill that occurred in the Gulf of Mexico. The spill impacted miles of U.S. shoreline and is estimated to have cost BP $42.4 billion so far. Also known as the Deepwater Horizon spill, it’s estimated that 4 million barrels of oil were spilled into the Gulf during this event.
To prevent future disasters, the Obama Administration is trying to get more laws passed to improve safety measures in the offshore oil industry. The proposed laws would strengthen safety on devices known as blowout preventers, which function as a last line of defense to stop underwater explosions on gas and oil wells. The BP oil spill happened as a result of a malfunctioning blowout preventer after a section of piping buckled. Previously, the part was thought to be fail-safe.
To date, the new regulations will be the third largest as a result of the BP disaster, and carry an estimated cost of hundreds of millions of dollars for oil companies. Due to the projected cost and time necessary to implement these new regulations, companies will be given several years to make the required changes. Once the new rules are in place, it will provide minimum requirements which will include changes in design, repair, maintenance, and manufacturing of blowout preventers.
As a bearing and cast material manufacturer that serves customers in the oil industry, Bunting Bearings is constantly on the look-out for news that may impact our customers. We will continue to monitor the headlines and stay up-to-date on changing regulations in the oil and gas industry.
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