Obama to announce new safety regulations for oil and natural gas drilling on Thursday: report

The Obama administration will announce Thursday safety regulations for offshore oil and natural gas drilling to prevent the kind of explosion that happened six years ago on a BP rig in the Gulf of Mexico, an official told Reuters.

The Department of Interior will unveil the final version of its well control regulations, which will require more stringent design and operating procedures for well control equipment used in offshore oil and gas operations, said the official, who is close to the rulemaking process.

The agency first released the proposal last April to coincide with the fifth anniversary of the deadly Deepwater Horizon blowout and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

The Macondo well blowout and the fire on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig on April 20, 2010 killed 11 workers.

BP agreed in October to pay more than $20 billion in fines to resolve nearly all claims from the oil spill, marking the largest corporate settlement of its kind in U.S. history.

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