Steven Otillar Quoted in Texas Lawyer on Worker-Safety Standards for Mexican Oil Workers

Steven Otillar, a partner in the oil and gas practice at Akin Gump, was quoted in the Texas Lawyer article “Mexico Agrees to API Worker-Safety Standards” regarding a decision by the Mexican government to follow the American Petroleum Institute’s safety standards in an effort to promote worker safety at offshore drilling sites.

Otillar said the adoption of API standards in the United States could serve as an example for implementation in Mexico by the regulatory authorities there, better known as Agency for Safety, Energy and Environment, or ASEA. “It took several years in the U.S. for API regulations to fully be understood and compliance was rather complicated with regulators and operators alike learning how best to implement the regulations,” he said. “ASEA still has to introduce its own brand of regulations based on this model.”

The article reports that collaboration between the United States and Mexico means that not only will ASEA not have to replicate specific policies and procedures, standards and best practices developed by API over many years, but ASEA and the Mexican industry will have the benefit of training opportunities and the chance to have access to auditors and models for Mexican operators to follow.

Otillar noted, “The safety culture is well ingrained in most operators in the Gulf, and they would likely use similar standards in Mexico regardless of whether ASEA required it or not. However, there would certainly be inconsistencies and variances between operators. Using a well-established set of guidelines and rules should enable ASEA to focus on the most effective means of implementing safety protocols.”