Regulator: Industry cooperation on offshore drilling safety is 'critical'

As the Gulf of Mexico continues to rebound from the 2010 BP oil spill, a top regulator says cooperation among contractors, the oil industry and regulators is "critical" to safety.

Director of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) Brian Salerno said many of the risks inherent in offshore drilling are "owned by the operating companies."

BSEE helped oversee the cleanup process and new safety enforcement after the 2010 oil spill, which Salerno said spawned a new way of thinking about offshore operations.

"In the offshore industry have operators, multiple contractors, and subcontractors," Salerno said in an interview with Platts Energy Week. "So the challenge really is to get all of them to work together seamlessly and safely."

For their part, Salerno said, the industry "is stepping up" its precautions and collaboration efforts with all involved.

"How we can better interact with industry — that work is critical," Salerno added.

BP's Gulf spill resulted in 11 deaths and leaked roughly 210 million gallons of oil.