Bromwich: Federal drilling rules might reflect BP’s new standards

But he declined to pre-judge the outcome of an upcoming rulemaking to further enhance drilling safety standards.

BP on Friday said it would ensure that subsea blowout preventers are equipped with no fewer than two blind shear rams and a casing shear ram to block runaway wells, enhance the laboratory scrutiny of cement slurries used for well casing, and several other steps.

Bromwich, under questioning from committee ranking member Edward Markey (D-Mass.), said the standards BP is applying are economically feasible for other major companies like Exxon Mobil and Shell.

“I think the majors would be able to do this,” Bromwich said.

The agency is preparing to release a broad preliminary rulemaking notice for comment.

But Bromwich noted that the upcoming rules will not be crafted at the “lickety-split” pace of the initial rules that followed the spill — an accident that laid bare a number of concerns about potential accidents from deepwater projects.