U.S. Says No Deepwater Rigs Shut After Inspections
Author: Tom Doggett
U.S. government inspectors have completed checking out some 30 deepwater drilling rigs searching for oil in the Gulf of Mexico and found no safety problems that would require any rigs to temporarily cease operations, a government spokesman told Reuters on Monday.
President Barack Obama ordered the inspections after a rig leased by BP exploded last month, killing 11 workers and causing a growing oil spill that threatens businesses and beaches along the Gulf Coast.
"Throughout our inspections, no deepwater facilities have been shut-in due to safety concerns," said John Romero, spokesman for the Interior Department's Minerals Management Service that oversees offshore drilling.
Romero said MMS personnel will now begin inspecting 47 deepwater production platforms that are already pumping crude oil on a commercial basis.
"These inspections may take up to a month to complete," he said.