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Reporting to SafeOCS




SafeOCS is a confidential reporting program that collects and analyzes data to advance safety in oil and gas operations on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). The objective of SafeOCS is to capture and share essential information across the industry about accident precursors and potential hazards associated with offshore operations. The Department of the Interior's Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) established the program with input from industry, and then entered into an agreement with the Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) to develop, implement, and operate the program. More information about BTS can be viewed here.

SafeOCS consists of three components:

BSEE regulations mandate WCR and SPPE equipment failure reporting. ISD reporting is voluntary. For information and FAQs on these individual program components, please click the links above.




SafeOCS flowchart
Oil & gas industry, BSEE
& BTS collaborate

to improve offshore
drilling safety
Offshore operators report
equipment failures
to BTS
BTS conducts data
quality evaluation

and detailed statistical
analysis
BTS publishes analytical
reports

on offshore safety patterns,
trends, and contributing
factors




















Learn More about When to Report Equipment Failure



About WCR

Well control equipment component failure reporting relates to failures of a Blowout Preventer (BOP) and other well control equipment.

Well control equipment includes a Blowout Preventer (BOP) and other well maintenance equipment. A failure is any condition that prevents the equipment from meeting the functional specification. Written notification of equipment failure must be provided within 30 days after the discovery and identification of the failure. An investigation and failure analysis must also be performed within 120 days of the failure to determine the cause. This reporting is required by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) under 30 CFR 250.730. To see further descriptions of what is considered a failure of equipment and what information is required for reporting, please see the Federal Regulation. BSEE has directed all equipment failure reports to be made to SafeOCS; these reports are protected under the Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act (CIPSEA).

View Final Rule in 30 CFR 250.730 of Code of Federal Regulations.

About SPPE

Safety and pollution prevention equipment (SPPE) failure reporting relates to failures of valves and their associated actuators, safety valve locks, or landing nipples.

SPPE include surface safety valves (SSVs), boarding shutdown valves (BSDVs), Gas Lift Shutdown Valves (GLSDV), underwater safety valves (USVs), subsurface safety valves (SSSVs) and their associated actuators, safety valve locks, or landing nipples. A failure is any condition that prevents the equipment from meeting the functional specification. The Oil and Gas and Sulfur Operations on the OCS, Oil and Gas Production Safety Systems rule (known as the Production Safety Systems Rule) established on September 7, 2016, increased the reporting of SPPE failure data to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) and the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) per section 30 CFR 250.803. According to this rule, SPPE failures are to be reported within 30 days after the discovery and identification of a failure, to BSEE and the OEM. BSEE has directed all equipment failure reports to be made to SafeOCS, which is managed by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS); these reports are protected under the Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act (CIPSEA). Reports provided to BSEE are subsequently provided to BTS, but are not protected under CIPSEA.

View Final Rule in 30 CFR 250.803 of Code of Federal Regulations.




SafeOCS slogan

  • Why was SafeOCS established?
    faq page banner

    SafeOCS was established to close a gap in safety data and information sharing among industry groups. Almost all oil and gas companies operating on the OCS have internal safety data reporting programs. However, due to legal and commercial concerns, these data are not being shared widely among stakeholders. SafeOCS provides a solution to these concerns by offering operators a confidential method to share important equipment failure and safety data. The aggregated data can be used to reduce the risk of major events, including loss of life or property and environmental harm.

    Information collected through the SafeOCS program will help identify current safety issues and emerging trends. Other industries, such as aviation, have shared information through similar industry-wide programs that have led to increased operational safety and protection of the environment.

  • How does the SafeOCS program differ from other safety data reporting programs managed by individual companies or industry groups?

    Information from reporting programs operated by individual companies is generally not shared across the industry. Safety information collected by industry groups is often limited to the group’s members and is limited in scope.

    The goal of SafeOCS is to gather, aggregate, analyze and publish a broad scope of safety and equipment reliability data from all segments of OCS operations, for use by industry, government, and the public. SafeOCS will complement other safety and equipment reliability efforts and add to the combined knowledge to make the OCS a safer place to work and operate.

    To facilitate the submission of information to SafeOCS, BTS has worked closely with the industry to ensure that BTS systems closely mirror industry data reporting processes.

  • What happens to the information submitted to SafeOCS and how will it be used?

    The reports and information submitted to SafeOCS are collected by BTS staff and confidential information is secured. The information goes through a detailed quality evaluation and statistical analysis. It is then aggregated so that industry-wide patterns and results can be discerned. This aggregated information is then shared in a report with all stakeholders. The information can be used to improve safety and equipment reliability on the OCS.

  • How do I know my information is confidential and secure?

    BTS operates SafeOCS under the Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act (CIPSEA) (44 U.S.C. § 3501 note). Under CIPSEA, it is a felony, punishable by up to $250,000 in fines and up to 5 years in jail, for BTS or its agents to release identifiable data confidentially submitted in reports by individuals, companies or other entities. BTS has very strict protocols in place for collecting and protecting such data. CIPSEA protections include, but are not limited to:

        • protection from subpoenas and Freedom of Information Act disclosure
        • protection from release to the public, BSEE, or any other government agency
        • protection from uses other than statistical purposes

    More information about BTS and CIPSEA confidentiality protection can be found here.

  • How does SafeOCS relate to the SEMS Subpart S requirements?

    BSEE's safety and environmental management system (SEMS) rules require facility management to investigate events that have the potential for serious safety or environmental consequences, but the results of these investigations are typically not required to be reported to BSEE or otherwise shared (at 30 C.F.R. Part 250 Subpart S). Note that the investigation results are required to be documented for use in the next hazard analysis or audit. SafeOCS will complement the SEMS requirements by covering a broader scope of equipment failure, near miss, and other safety-related events from an OCS-wide perspective; sharing the results with stakeholders and the public; and adding to the body of information that will make the OCS a safer place to work and operate.







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Send email icon  SafeOCS@dot.gov

Phone icon  1-844-OCS-FRST (1-844-627-3778)

Location icon  SafeOCS
      Bureau of Transportation Statistics
      P.O. Box 23295
      Washington, DC 20026-3295

SafeOCS Informational Event

Learn from BTS and BSEE about SafeOCS’s Industry Safety Data (ISD) Program


Open Plenary Followed by One-on-one Sessions

BTS and BSEE staff will provide an overview of SafeOCS, including the program's origins, goals, scope, and methods. Attendees will hear about SafeOCS progress to date, ongoing efforts, and near-term plans for the program. The speakers will explain how companies can participate in the SafeOCS Industry Safety Data (ISD) program. This session is intended to provide attendees with the opportunity to provide feedback and ask questions. Your feedback and questions will help us to expand the FAQs about SafeOCS and improve the overall understanding of this voluntary program.

Dates, locations and session times are listed below.

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First Event:
Location: Baker Hughes
Baker Street Conference Room
2001 Rankin Road
Houston, TX 77073
Date: Tuesday, December 4, 2018
Time: 10:00 am to 12:00 pm (Plenary)
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm (One-on-one sessions)

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Second Event:
Location: BSEE GOM Regional Office, Room 545
1201 Elmwood Park Boulevard
New Orleans, LA 70123
Date: Thursday, December 6, 2018
Time: 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm (Plenary)
3:00 pm to 5:00 pm (One-on-one sessions)

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To Register here


BTS releases the 2017 Annual Report: Blowout Prevention System Safety

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) has released the 2017 Annual Report: Blowout Prevention System Safety, which provides information on equipment component failures occurring during drilling and non-drilling operations on rigs in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). The reporting of such events is mandated by the Well Control Rule (WCR), published by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), Department of the Interior. The publication of this report represents a groundbreaking collaboration between industry and government stakeholders and is a significant milestone in promoting safety on the OCS. The report includes an analysis of equipment component failures and other key information such as root causes of failure events, follow-up response to failures, and opportunities to improve data quality. In 2017, the first full year of mandated WCR reporting, 18 of 25 operators in the Gulf of Mexico reported 1,129 rig equipment component failure events, and the notifications involved 45 of 59 rigs operating in the Gulf of Mexico. The 18 reporting operators represent 90.2 percent of new wells drilled in the Gulf of Mexico. The report begins by analyzing aggregate equipment component failure data and then, in separate sections, presents statistics on the reported events for the two major types of BOP stacks (subsea and surface). Both types of BOP stacks were associated with component failures and most notifications were associated with the more complex subsea BOP stack (92.5 percent).

Key findings:
  • The top four reporting operators represented 81.8 percent of reported component events and 32.7 percent of new wells spud in the Gulf of Mexico for 2017.
  • There was a decrease in overall reporting from 2016 to 2017. The event reporting rate adjusted for rig activity (defined as events per 1,000 BOP days) decreased from 122.3 in 2016 to 59.8 in 2017.
  • There was an increase in reporting equipment component failures while not in operation for rigs with subsea BOP stacks. The percent of subsea, not-in-operation notifications for 2017 was 86.4 as compared to 79.8 percent for 2016.
  • There was a decrease in the rate of unplanned stack pulls for rigs with subsea BOP stacks. In 2016 the rate was 7.2 percent and in 2017 it was 5.6 percent.
  • Based on follow-up documents submitted to SafeOCS, only 12 of the 18 components involved in unplanned stack pulls were sent to shore for further analysis by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) or a third party, despite the expectation of a root cause failure analysis (RCFA) for every stack pull.
  • Of 1,044 subsea events in 2017, one reported loss of containment of synthetic oil based mud (drilling fluid) during in-operation rig activity. No surface stack events resulted in loss of containment.
  • Leaks remained the most frequently reported observed failure and wear and tear remained the most frequently reported root cause of failure events in 2017 as they were in 2016.

Send email icon  SafeOCS@dot.gov Phoneicon  1-844-OCS-FRST (1-844-627-3778) Location icon  SafeOCS, BTS-USDOT, P.O. Box 23295, Washington, DC 20026-3295