The United States has invited energy officials from a dozen countries to a forum next week to share lessons learned from last year's devastating Gulf of Mexico oil spill, a US official said Tuesday.
"The idea of the containment forum is to share information that we have learned from our searing experience with the Macondo well," US Deputy Interior Secretary David Hayes told a news teleconference from Mexico.
Hayes and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar were wrapping up talks in Mexico on safety and development in the Gulf of Mexico with Mexican energy officials.
The United States will share with officials from at least a dozen countries information on how to "put together and put in place strategies for responding to blow-outs," Hayes said.
A blow-out on a BP deepwater well in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20 last year unleashed an explosion that killed 11 workers and triggered the worst offshore oil spill in US history.
It took several attempts and inventive technology to finally cap the spill, with containment efforts only succeeding after 205 million gallons of crude had gushed into the Gulf for three months, fouling the sea and shorelines, closing rich oyster, shrimp and fishing grounds, and scaring off tourists.
The containment forum is part of a US initiative to establish strict safety standards for deepwater drilling that ensure that human lives, livelihoods and the environment are protected as countries develop their offshore oil and gas resources, Hayes said.
Energy officials from Angola, Australia, Brazil, Israel, Mexico, and several European countries involved in deepwater drilling are expected to attend the US-hosted containment forum in Washington on April 14.
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