The Department of the Interior reversed a prior agency decision that exempted many Gulf of Mexico oil and gas natural gas operations from having to submit plans to address worst-case-scenario blowouts before drilling wells, according to a report by the Houston Chronicle. The order requires oil and gas companies to deal with the possibility of a blowout when filing new drilling permit requests, exploration plans or development plans, specifically detailing steps taken to prevent blowouts.

Other detailed information companies must provide includes:

  • An estimated flowrate, total volume, and maximum duration of a potential blowout.
  • A discussion of the likelihood that “surface intervention” would be needed to stop a blowout.
  • The availability of a rig to drill a relief well.
  • Estimates of the time it would take to contract for a rig and drill a relief well.

For the full Houston Chronicle report on this story, click here.