What We Do / Office of Offshore Regulatory Programs / Engineering Technology Assessment Center

Engineering Technology Assessment Center

The Engineering Technology Assessment Center (ETAC) provides BSEE’s headquarters, region and district offices with consulting expertise, value-added solutions, and the comprehensive review of new, unused, innovative and unusual technologies. The ETAC’s work informs, collaborates, and provides expert assessments to the Bureau’s Regions and Districts to support reviewing and approving new technology permits. ETAC’s work is focused toward ensuring that oil and gas and renewable operations are performed in a safe and environmentally responsible manner.

Located in Houston’s downtown area, the center interacts closely with equipment manufacturers, assists in the development of new offshore oil and gas and renewable regulations, and evaluates proposed industry standards.

Contact the Engineering Technology Assessment Center

Engineering Technology Assessment Center
1919 Smith Street, Suite 14042
Houston, Texas 77002
Phone: (713) 220-9205

Study Topics

  • Probablity Risk Assessment (PRA) — In 2016, BSEE and NASA entered into an interagency agreement to, among other joint goals, evaluate the use of PRA in the offshore oil and gas industry.
  • High Pressure High Temperature — As offshore oil and gas exploration and development advances in relation to both deep water and deep wells, the operating environment can present challenges, especially in terms of temperatures and pressures encountered.  High pressure has been defined as greater than 15,000 psi and high temperature has been defined as greater than 350 F degrees in the Code of Federal Regulations at 30 C.F.R. § 250.804.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does the Engineering Technology Assessment Center work directly with the general public?

BSEE’s Engineering Technology Assessment Center provides engineering support and expertise directly to BSEE’s headquarters office, regional, and district staff.  ETAC will collaborate with both internal and external stakeholders assessing technology.

What is considered new and unusual technology?

New technology is defined in 30 CFR 250.200. According to 30 CFR 250.200, new is defined as equipment or procedures have not been used previously, or extensively in a BSEE OCS Region; have not been used previously under the anticipated operating conditions; or have operating characteristics that are outside the performance parameters established by this part.

How does the center distinguish itself from other programs, such as the Best Available and Safest Technologies (BAST) Program and Technical Assessment Section (TAS)?

The center provides consulting services and technical assistance to BSEE’s regions, districts, and headquarters. The center provides technical assistance for BSEE’s programs, and does not provide regulatory approvals. The BAST program is a regulatory program for identifying and assessing proven technologies on the Outer Continental Shelf. The TAS reviews Deepwater Operations Plans and other permitting issues relating to production operations in the Gulf of Mexico.

How transparent will Engineering Technology Assessment Center be in their review process?

The center works within BSEE’s current review process to evaluate new technologies for use offshore and serves as an internal consulting firm within the bureau. The technical staff will solve technical issues upon the request of a regional or district office.

What equipment does BSEE want to review for new technology?

The center evaluates the equipment and/or the technical issue and works directly with the region or district as an internal BSEE resource. Any and all equipment to be used in the OCS.