RFF Initiative

Deepwater Drilling: Recommendations for a Safer Future

The National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling asked RFF experts to identify potential improvements in industry and government practice to reduce the risk of future catastrophic spills.

In August 2010, experts at RFF conducted a series of studies to help inform the investigations and recommendations of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. RFF was 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.

RFF 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.

Read more about the key recommendations.