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Minerals Management Services (MMS)

Minerals Management Service (MMS)

The Minerals Management Service (MMS), a bureau in the U.S. Department of the Interior, is the Federal agency that manages the nation’s natural gas, oil and other mineral resources on the outer continental shelf (OCS). The MMS is comprised of two major programs: Offshore Energy and Minerals Management and Minerals Revenue Management. The Offshore program, which manages the mineral resources on the OCS, is comprised of three regions: Alaska, Gulf of Mexico, and the Pacific.

In short, the MMS is charged with managing the mineral resources in the Gulf of Mexico in an environmentally sound and safe manner.

The MMS is coming under scrutiny for awarding Transocean’s Deepwater Horizon a regional Safety Award for Excellence (SAFE) for ” outstanding drilling operations”  in 2009 – the same year that Transocean’s Board of Directors suspended executive bonuses following safety concerns. The board’s decision followed the deaths of four Transocean workers in 2009, according to documents filed with securities regulators.

Additional pressure is being placed on the MMS for its decision not to mandate remote-controlled shut-off switches for blowout preventers (BOPs). An acoustic shut-off trigger serves as another back-up system helping to ensure that the BOP can be activated even in catastrophic circumstances. Even though required by other countries, the MMS decided this precaution was not necessary and speculation surrounds the relationship between the MMS and oil companies.

The Minerals Management Service is actively working with the U.S. Coast Guard, Transocean, and BP to try to secure the well, stop the oil spill, and protect the environment.

Involved Parties
BP (British Petroleum)
Cameron International Group
Halliburton
Minerals Management Services (MMS)
Shuman Consulting
Transocean
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