OCSNCOE Unit Emblem (silhouettes of a self-elevating MODU, an OSV and an offshore wind turbine over a silhouette of the United States with the U.S. Coast Guard mark (i.e., racing stripe) in the background).Outer Continental Shelf National Center of Expertise (OCSNCOE)

JACK ST. MALO during offshore construction with attending OSV and Floatel VICTORY. C-ENFORCER underway with water cannons flowing. SEVAN LOUISIANA underway when initially entering the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Platform GINA off the California coast. Block Island windfarm with attending CTV. SPARTAN 151 dockside in Seward, AK.



Additional OCS & Coast Guard-Related Info Menu


The Drill Down, Issue #1: Welcome to the Drill Down

Graphic of a drill stringIntroduction

One of the United States Coast Guard Outer Continental Shelf National Center of Expertise’s (OCS NCOE) functions is to be a repository of technical competence, expertise, and best practices regarding the world of U.S. OCS activities. But what good is a repository if it is not shared? The goal of this document, the Drill Down, will be to share expertise in a simple user-friendly method that will hopefully promote dialogue between all applicable OCS stakeholders.

Some of the OCS NCOE essential duties are to:

  • Maintain awareness of the ever-increasing growth and complexity of the OCS industry,
  • Enhance technical competency and expertise within Marine Safety, and
  • Facilitate improvement of inspector and investigator competencies while promoting consistency.

NCOEs are Headquarters staff offices, but are generally strategically located near the industry hubs for their particular specialty. Being located in southern Louisiana, the OCS NCOE is able to maintain relations with industry and Coast Guard field units conducting the majority of OCS work.

The Drill Down

The Drill Down is intended to provide concise information in a 1-to-2-page format for those involved with or interested in the OCS. Each issue will attempt to “drill down” to the facts and provide an easy to read, easy to use reference. We will strive to provide answers to many of the questions around the OCS world of work. And what are the subjects?Graphic depicting the Drill Down series

Just as an oil and gas field is explored, the Drill Down will explore five “fields,” or topics (image above), from general to specific. Three of these fields are the OCS NCOE’s inspection specialties:

  • Offshore Supply Vessels (OSVs),
  • Mobile Offshore Drilling Units (MODUs), and
  • Production Facilities.

The Prevention Program has made great strides to better formalize the OCS world of work with the OSV (OI), Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit (MUI), Floating OCS Facility (FOF), and Fixed Platform (FPI) Performance and Qualification Standards (PQS). Drill Down documents related to PQS tasks will be noted in the title block of the pdf.

The Technical Series is intended to share our in-house knowledge of OCS activities that may not necessarily be covered in PQS, regulations, standards or policy. Good examples of what you can expect are issues related to drilling, production, well intervention, etc. This is where you will gain a better understanding of the technical intricacies related to OCS activities.

Many times, events occur offshore that are important to share among all OCS stakeholders. Often these events don’t reach the level of “reportable casualty,” but might qualify as a near miss, non-reportable casualty, or even just a very important deficiency discovery. We will anonymously share these findings through Lessons Learned to facilitate an overall safer OCS.


The Drill Down is also dependent on you! Contact us if you’d like a specific topic covered in more detail, or if you find an issue on an inspection or examination that you think needs to be shared with the OCS community. Expect new issues regularly where we will continue to explore these fields in the Drill Down.

Published 27Mar2017. Revision 1, 25Jan2023.