"The Obama administration was set to release its latest set of requirements for offshore oil drillers by Thursday as the government moves toward lifting its contested ban on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Interior Department has said it will release new drilling regulations by the end of September aimed at increasing safety in the industry, which was rocked by the BP oil spill disaster.
The new rules are one of the conditions the department said must be in place before it lifts its temporary ban on exploratory drilling in waters more than 500 feet deep. The freeze is supposed to expire in November 30, but the Interior Department has said it hopes to end the ban early.
These new rules will likely encompass many of the recommendations made in the safety report the department released in May, such as requirements for certifying that rigs have working blowout preventers and standards for cementing wells."