WASHINGTON -- The MMS has issued a rule incorporating three API bulletins to improve the survivability of offshore platforms and increase environmental safety during hurricane events in the Gulf of Mexico.
The rule includes three API bulletins that contain engineering design principles and good practices for new platforms and assessments of existing platforms by imposing more stringent design and assessment criteria for both new and existing structures in the GoM. According to the MMS, the new criteria will increase survivability during hurricane conditions and result in fewer damaged platforms, thereby protecting critical oil and gas resources and making those resources available after hurricane events.
Damage to the oil and gas infrastructure as a result of the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons included the destruction of 123 fixed structures and one floating facility, as well as significant damage to dozens of other fixed and floating structures. Following the hurricanes, MMS, API, and members of the offshore oil and gas industry collaborated to improve the standards by which outer continental shelf structures are designed and assessed to withstand meteorological events involving wind, wave, current, and surge.
The bulletins, listed below, impose more stringent design and assessment criteria for both new and existing structures in the GoM:
·BULLETIN 2INT-MET, interim guidance on hurricane conditions in the GoM
·BULLETIN 2INT-DG, interim guidance for design of offshore structures for hurricane conditions
·BULLETIN 2INT-EX, interim guidance for assessment of existing offshore structures for hurricane conditions.
The final MMS rule, RIN 1010-AD48, becomes effective May 15, 2008.