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June 20th, 2013

Feds Begin Citing Offshore Contractors for Safety Violations

The Interior Department has been granted new and strengthened powers since the Gulf of Mexico offshore explosion of 2010. As part of those new powers, federal regulators have begun issuing safety violation notices to offshore contractors that they believe are guilty of safety violations.

Several incidents of noncompliance have been sent to several offshore contractors in the Gulf of Mexico region, including Nabors Offshore Corporation, Ensco Drilling and at least 3 other contractors.

The citations mark a new step forward for federal regulatory agencies, because the agency is citing offshore contractors and not just the companies that are involved in the offshore gas and drilling activities.

After the Gulf of Mexico disaster, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement announced that it would stop citing only those companies that were searching for oil and gas in federal waters. Earlier these were the only companies that would be cited by federal agencies, and the companies were responsible for making sure that their contractors followed the rules.

That will no longer be the case as the federal agency has made abundantly clear with these new citations. From now on, offshore contracting companies that are involved in supplying or contracting for companies involved in oil and gas drilling and exploration activities in the Gulf of Mexico, will also be cited for safety hazards and violations.

The violations and citations have been posted for review on a government website, indicating the seriousness with which the agency views these violations. Houston offshore injury lawyers are likely to be encouraged by the federal agency’s actions, because it helps hold all types of companies responsible for violations accountable, and not just the companies searching for oil and gas.

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