Interior close to floating new offshore drilling rule

Interior toughened offshore drilling safety requirements after the BP disaster with new standards for well designs, required third-party verification that subsea “blowout preventers” can close off drill-pipes, and many other measures.

But the department has long planned new standards for the crucial subsea devices that are meant as a failsafe against major well accidents like the BP disaster.

BP's ruptured Macondo well is estimated to have dumped over four million barrels of oil into the ocean over several months.