GAO Raises Concerns About Government Inspections Of Offshore Pipelines

"A report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) says that the federal government lacks “robust” processes to both ensure the integrity of active offshore pipelines and to deal with inactive ones that have been left on the seafloor.

The nonpartisan congressional watchdog found that the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) does not generally conduct or require inspections for active undersea pipelines, and also said that safety devices are not always reliable.

It said that the agency has worked with industry on new technology, but that there are limits on its use.

On inactive pipelines, the watchdog also found that BSEE doesn’t adequately account for safety and environmental risks for applications to decommission the vessels and has allowed 97 percent of all pipeline mileage to be left on the seafloor."

Rachel Frazin reports for The Hill April 19, 2021.


"Offshore Oil and Gas: Updated Regulations Needed to Improve Pipeline Oversight and Decommissioning GAO-21-293" (GAO)

"GAO: Drillers Left Behind 18,000 Miles Of Old Pipelines" (E&E News)

Source: The Hill, 04/20/2021