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Preliminary Empirical Assessment of Offshore Production Platforms in the Gulf of Mexico

Listed author(s):
  • Muehlenbachs, Lucija


    (Resources for the Future)

  • Cohen, Mark A.


    (Resources for the Future)

  • Gerarden, Todd


    (Resources for the Future)

This paper reports on a preliminary analysis of performance indicators on 3,020 platforms operating in the Gulf of Mexico between 1996 and 2010. Statistical analysis reveals that company-reported incidents (such as blowouts, fires, injuries, and pollution) increase with water depth, controlling for platform characteristics such as age, quantity of oil and gas produced, and number of producing wells. In addition to company-reported incidents, we examine government inspections and the type of enforcement action (warning, component shut-in, facility shut-in, or civil penalty review) following an inspection. Fewer incidents of noncompliance are detected during inspections on deepwater platforms compared with shallow-water platforms; however, the magnitude of the effect of depth on noncompliance is not large. We provide a preliminary analysis of the effect of prior findings of noncompliance, suggesting that noncompliance is persistent. We also find significant variability in both self-reported incidents and noncompliance across leaseholders.

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Paper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-10-66.

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Date of creation: 12 Jan 2011
Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-10-66
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  1. Montserrat Grau & Theodore Groves, 1997. "The Oil Spill Process: The Effect of Coast Guard Monitoring on Oil Spills," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 10(4), pages 315-339, December.
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