by Emma Summers
According to multiple news reports this summer, a center for offshore safety will be developed by the American Petroleum Institute (API) in Houston within the coming years. The news came just a little over a year after the disastrous oil spill that took place in the Gulf of Mexico. The API is a major oil and gas industry group based out of Washington D.C. who is greatly involved with all aspects of the fuel market.
Members of the API promoted the development plan this summer. Representatives have said that the safety center will be run by a section of the API known as the standards and certification arm, which happens to be separately funded from the rest of the institute.
API works as a representative for nearly 500 oil and gas companies and also oversees numbers of different leaders throughout the industry. API is responsible for overseeing companies that produce around 9 million jobs per year and as much as 8 percent of the U.S. economy.
The center itself will be open for use by all companies that work within the offshore and deepwater exploration/production market. The API will use the center as a source to provide details for their recommended practices. This will include revolutionary offshore management and safety systems, as well as the recent federal regulations that have been pushed into motion by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Regulation and Enforcement following the disaster in 2010.
Right now the extensive details outside of the city location of the center have not yet been put into stone. However, taking the first step to announce the initial plans is a major step. With a company that has as much power and enforcement in the oil industry as API does, it can be ensured that the center will be built with the upmost care and quality.
The selection of Houston is important given its locale to the Gulf of Mexico combined with close headquarters of a number of major oil and fuel companies. The choice seems natural considering the city is thriving in multiple areas including employment, rising real estate (Houston apartment and home sales are thriving), as well as a bustling development scene. Also, Texas area schools such as UT and Texas A&M have done progressive research on the 2010 oil spill.
The Associated Press (March 17, 2011). “Offshore safety center planned for Houston in wake of 2010 oil spill in Gulf.” Retrieved on September 15, 2011 from The Alabama Register
Representatives of API. (March 17, 2011). “API: Board of Directors Approves Industry Center for Offshore Safety.” Retrieved on September 15, 2011 from API