Leaked Report Shows Inappropriate Behavior and Lack of Oversight by Government Oil Industry Regulators

Federal regulators responsible for oversight of drilling in the Gulf of Mexico allowed industry officials several years ago to fill in their own inspection reports in pencil — and then turned them over to the regulators, who traced over them in pen before submitting the reports to the agency, according to an inspector general’s report to be released this week.

Minerals and Management Service regulators accepted gifts from the oil companies they were supposed to be watching over, and allowed those companies to fill out their own inspection reports, according to a damning report from the inspector general, which found sweeping misconduct at the agency from 2005 to 2007. One regulator conducted four drilling platform inspections while negotiating a job with the drilling company. Another is believed to have conducted inspections while high on crystal meth.