|To: DewDiligence_on_SI who wrote (868)||5/1/2012 12:20:59 PM|
|From: elmatador||Respond to of 1297|
|OTC: Brazil regulator charts a different course on safety |
It’s no secret that Brazil has responded to its own offshore spill, one far smaller than the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico, much more harshly than regulators in the U.S. During a luncheon speech at the Offshore Technology Conference, Magda Chambriard, the general director of the Brazilian Petroleum Agency made no apologies for seeking harsh penalties for environmental disasters.
“Our people expect a lot from ANP in terms of safety,” she said. “After an accident, it changes the picture.”
The regulator has a list of 17 management practices that it expects companies to follow, and last year it conducted 130 offshore audits and issued $23 million in fines. It also slapped operational halts on 14 projects that didn’t comply with regulatory standards.
“Even more important than fines are operator halts,” Chambriard said. “Companies do not want to pay fines, but they especially do not want an operational halt.”
ANP believes an on board presence is important in enforcing regulations, she said. The agency also has set up a worker hotline that enables rig workers to alert regulators to potential safety issues offshore. The program “spreads regulators eyes,” she said.
Brazil’s regulations are more stringent than those in the U.S., yet the country remains one of the hottest prospects for new drilling. Brazilian authorities recognize the country has a “special moment” in the global oil markets as worldwide demand increases the stakes for new offshore drilling. At the same time, the country is committed to ensuring that new drilling is done safely, Chambriard said.
“In Brazil, foreign investments are very welcome if they comply with Brazilian rules,” she said