Emerging Technologies

The Emerging Technologies Branch (ETB) identifies, develops, and incorporates those existing, new, or emerging technologies with the potential to address and mitigate safety issues which support the Offshore Continental Shelf Lands Act Amendments of 1978 (OCSLA) directive along America's Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).

StudWhile assessing existing and new technologies, the ETB considers how relevant technologies may be applied and integrated into BSEE’s regulatory programs to promote safety, conserve resources, and protect the environment. Additionally, the ETB performs necessary technology or equipment reviews to assess impact on existing regulations. Technology assessments may be necessary because of the development of a new regulation, the modification of an existing requirement, the development and subsequent incorporation of a consensus-based standard, the issuance of a Notice to Lessees, or changes to permit conditions or approvals.  Assessments may be utilized in determining fitness of service or/and the root causes of incidents or near-miss events involving critical equipment or systems.

Research is used to support technology reviews and assessment activities.  ETB identifies, procures funds, and administers research contracts that assess safety-related technologies, and perform applied research in support of BSEE’s regulatory programs. Learn more about submitting research proposals and Technology Assessment Program

Information gained in these technology assessments and research may be integrated into regulatory programs and initiatives.

Sections

The Best Available and Safest Technologies (BAST) Section develops and implements a nationally recognized process for implementing provisions of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act for the use of BAST.

The Systems Reliability Section (SRS) observes and oversees the quality-assurance and quality-control testing of targeted offshore equipment. The section assesses equipment and systems for fitness of service or/and to determine the root causes of incidents or near-miss events.

Together, these efforts support BSEE’s regional offices and headquarters, as part of the Office of Offshore Regulatory Programs.

Safety Topics

Liner SealWhen BSEE determines a piece of equipment or system does not perform safely offshore and failure could lead to a process safety incident, technical staff from the Systems Reliability Section (SRS) collaborate with operators, industry professionals, and subject-matter experts to conduct and/or oversee challenging technical equipment evaluations. The section assesses fitness for service, or/and investigates the root causes of incidents and near-miss events for targeted equipment or systems.. Upon completion of the root cause analysis of a technological failure or near miss, the findings may result in recommendations for further action or alert BSEE officials of critical safety issues that may require immediate action such as a safety alert.