Evolution of the American Petroleum Institute as transnational private regulator after the Deepwater Horizon accident".

Activity: Talk and presentationAcademic presentationAcademic


Presentation delivered during the International Conference: ‘The evolution of transnational private rule-makers: Understanding drivers and dynamics".

The conference started with a provoking premise from Panos Delimatsis "Crises do not seem to affect the power of private authority. Rather, the latter seems to have reached a mature phase where more power delegation is proactively sought by private parties, notably after a crisis event".

I explained how the Deepwater Horizon accident prompted a regulatory crisis that brought into question the American Petroleum Institute (API) as private regulator. However, API continued to be an important actor in the aftermath of the accident:

1) BSEE as public regulator made mandatory API’s 75 Recommended Practice
2) API created the Center for Offshore Safety (COS) as a new self-regulator
3) BSEE approved COS as the only accreditation body of third-party auditors
4) BSEE adopted several COS’s standards

COS also contributes to provide transparency on offshore oil and gas operations in the USA. In brief, the reforms reinforced API’s regulatory role.
Held atTilburg University, Netherlands
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • transnational regulators
  • oil and gas
  • Macondo
  • Deepwater horizon
  • regulatory crisis
  • self-regulation