Contractors may be regulated as result of Gulf oil spill

A senior federal official recently said that authorities would begin regulating companies contracted by oil companies that work offshore.

The reported move is in response to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, which was the largest in the history of the United States and saw more than 170 million gallons of oil pour into the water.

Reuters reports that investigations following the disaster put a focus on how contractors - in this case Halliburton - played a role in the spill, as opposed to operators - in this case BP.

"There is a virtue in the administrative clarity in going only against the operators and not confusing the picture," Michael Bromwich, the director of the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement said after his speech at an oil conference. "But in those instances when the violations by contractors are bad enough... we should go after them as well."

Contractors that could potentially be regulated are confined to those that participate in offshore development, reports the news source.

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