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Deepwater Drilling Key Recommendations

In August 2010, the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling asked RFF to conduct a series of studies that would help inform the commission’s investigations and recommendations. We were not asked to assess the technical causes of the spill; instead, the task was to help identify potential improvements in industry and government practices to reduce the risk of future catastrophic spills.

A team of experts in risk assessment, regulatory and cost–benefit analysis, government enforcement, and the oil industry formulated a series of findings and recommendations to improve the safety of future oil drilling operations.

Key Recommendations
1. Provide stronger incentives for industry to invest in safety, risk-reduction, and containment technologies.
2. Reform regulatory structures to adapt to deepwater drilling risks.
3. Strengthen the oversight capacity of institutions involved in offshore drilling.

Download more information about CEEP's key reccomendations (PDF)

How to use this chart: This chart shows how the articles in the 2011 Winter/Spring Resources—and the discussion papers that they are based on—correlate to the key reccomendations.  = Strengthen Incentives = Reform Regulatory Structures  = Strengthen Oversight


In Winter/Spring 2011 Resources

RFF Features


Instilling a Stronger Safety Culture: What are the Incentives?
Joshua Linn and Nathan Richardson

Offshore Oversight: How Deep Is the Regulatory Ocean?
Lucija Muehlenbachs, Mark A. Cohen, and Todd Gerarden

Risk Assessment

Managing the Risks of Deepwater Drilling
Carolyn Kousky

Keeping Oil Extraction Safe: Incorporating Risk to Prevent Further Spills
Roger M. Cooke, Heather L. Ross, and Adam Stern

Risk Assessment

Preventing Offshore Oil Spills
Roger M. Cooke, Heather L. Ross and Adam Stern

Risk Management Practices: How Do You Determine When Safe is Safe Enough?
Lynn Scarlett, Igor Linkov, and Carolyn Kousky

Risk Management

Managing Environmental, Health, and Safety Risks: A Closer Look at How Three Federal Agencies Respond
Lynn Scarlett, Arthur Fraas, Richard Morgenstern, and Timothy Murphy

The Costs and Benefits of Deepwater Drilling Regulation
Alan J. Krupnick, Sarah Campbell, Mark A. Cohen, and Ian W.H. Parry

The Next Battle

The Next Battle: Containing Future Major Oil Spills
Mark A. Cohen, Molly K. Macauley, and Nathan Richardson

Deepwater Drilling: Promoting a “Safety Culture”
Mark A. Cohen, Madeline Gottlieb, Joshua Linn, and Nathan Richardson


Federal Agencies and Risk Management: A Comparative Assessment
Lynn Scarlett, Arthur G. Fraas, Richard D. Morgenstern, and Timothy Murphy

Containing the Next Deepwater Well Blowout: Preventing Future Spills from Becoming Catastrophic
Robert Anderson, Mark A. Cohen, Molly K. Macauley, Nathan Richardson, and Adam Stern