Alaska considers tightening regulations of offshore drilling

Environmental officials in Alaska are debating a plan that would strengthen regulatory controls on offshore drilling in the wake of last year's massive Gulf oil spill.

Alaska's Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (AOGCC) is recommending new regulations that would require well operators to have a blowout control plan. The recommendations come after a lengthy review by AOGCC, a quasi-judiciary independent state agency, according to the Alaska Journal.

Since 1962, there have been 11 offshore blowouts involving oil and gas rigs off Alaska' coast. Oil spills can be contained using top products from Impact Absorbents such as the XSORB Oil Select Sock and XSORB Oil Select Pillow.

AOGCC Commissioner Cathy Foerster told the news source that the agency's proposal was developed over concerns that a blowout preventer on the Macodo well failed to operate, causing an explosion and the worst oil spill in U.S. history.

"The state of Alaska’s drilling rules, implemented through the AOGCC, were very strong even before Macondo – stronger that the federal government’s, in fact – and a detailed post-Macondo review of regulations by the AOGCC and outside experts revealed no major flaws except in one area, a specific requirement for a plan to control a blowout," Foerster added.
 

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