Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marine Affairs


Trends in offshore fatalities and lost time accidents since the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act Amendments of 1978 need to be identified to allow an evaluation of the safety of offshore operations. Fatality and accident data between 1975 and 1985 are analyzed in the context of the Federal regulatory structure. The safety data generated for oil and gas drilling operations on the Outer Continental Shelf varies according to the source of the information. Modifications to accident reporting formats and data collection systems would benefit the offshore industry and the Government regulators in their efforts to improve operational safety. A major regulatory mechanism created to ensure that the best available and safest technologies are employed during Outer continental Shelf drilling operations has not resulted in deepwater operations achieving a safety record as good as other offshore areas. The mandated economic considerations of this legislation appear to have allowed the letter of the law to be achieved without providing a commensurate improvement in offshore safety.