Most organizations in the offshore oil industry have squeezed all of the performance they can get from traditional approaches to procedures, rules, and other administrative controls. Adding more programs to an already overtaxed workforce is not only undesirable and costly but can actually be detrimental to safety, environmental, and cost performance. Operators don’t need more things to do but a way to get more out of what they are already doing. Operational reliability and execution are the keys to effective performance. And this means developing a safety culture that engages people at all levels to fully commit to doing the right thing at the right time in the right way. This paper will discuss research findings that demonstrate how a strong safety culture leads to operational reliability and is the leading factor that sets the very best performers in offshore drilling apart from their counterparts.