The MMS’s Deepwater Operating Plan (DWOP) requires that the operators demonstrate that any new technology introduced in a deepwater project should be demonstrated to be as safe as existing technology. Developing a mutually acceptable plan for a specific project can be difficult and problematic. The objective of this Workshop was to develop a rationale and methodology that can lead to a process for qualifying new technologies that is acceptable to all stakeholders (MMS, USCG, operators, contractors, and manufacturers).
A 1-½ day Workshop was planned and held on October 29-30. The Workshop brought together MMS and oil industry stakeholders and experts, plus experts from other fields to
- Discuss requirements and processes to qualify new technologies,
- Develop a methodology and process that could lead to a mutually acceptable plan.
The workshop was well attended by about 65 participants representing a wide range of perspectives and experiences.
Day 1 included presentations and panel discussions on
- Regulatory (MMS) and operators (DeepStar) perspectives,
- Role of Standards and Classification Organizations (API, ASTM, ABS, and DNV),
- Experiences of agencies/industries in managing the introduction of new technologies (NASA, DARPA, Boeing) in other industries,
- Experiences of operators and manufacturers in developing new offshore technologies for and first time applications in projects,
Discussion Groups addressed specific topics concerning
- New technologies and regulatory requirements,
- Manufacturing and testing to achieve/assure performance.
On Day 2, simultaneous Discussion Groups developed recommendations for a course of action that can result in a plan to qualify emerging technologies and first time applications. Finally the Workshop attendees convened to develop a consensus recommendation for a Path Forward.