Changes to U.S. offshore drilling safety and environmental regulations have been enacted post-Macondo and further changes are possible. New prescriptive rules for deepwater drilling will have a significant impact on drilling engineering, operations, and costs. Performance-based regulations that require all operators in the Outer Continental Shelf to implement a Safety and Environmental Management System have become law. This paper summarizes the BP Macondo blowout, including the response of government agencies and BP. Changes to U.S. Government regulations are then summarized, including a discussion of prescriptive versus performance-based regulation. It is concluded that the enacted and proposed changes to offshore drilling safety and environmental regulations should deliver the desired benefit of reducing the likelihood of future deepwater blowouts.

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