Feds issue new, tougher offshore drilling rules
NEW ORLEANS - The Obama administration has issued new rules to make offshore oil and natural gas drilling equipment safer and to reduce risks in digging wells, but the oil industry is blasting those rules as unnecessary and costly.
The rules were published Thursday by the Interior Department, nearly six years after the catastrophic blowout of a BP well in the Gulf of Mexico killed 11 workers and injured many others. The out-of-control leak dumped millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf.
The rules take aim at blowout preventers, massive valve-like devices meant to prevent oil and gas from escaping when a driller loses control of a well. The device failed in the BP spill.
Industry leaders warn the rules could make it too costly to drill in some places.
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