U.S. regulator proposes scaling back offshore drilling safety rules: WSJ

FILE PHOTO: A hard hat from an oil worker lies in oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on East Grand Terre Island, Louisiana June 8, 2010. REUTERS/Lee Celano/File Photo

(Reuters) - A U.S. regulator has proposed rolling back safety measures put in place after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which would reduce the role of government in offshore oil production, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), which regulates offshore oil and gas drilling, proposes relaxing requirements to stream real-time data on oil production operators to facilities onshore, where they are available for review by regulators, the Journal reported.

The BSEE has also proposed cutting a provision requiring that third-party inspectors of critical equipment - such as the blowout preventer that failed in the Deepwater Horizon case - be certified by the BSEE, the Journal reported.

The agency had sent its proposal to the White House budget office, the newspaper reported.

Reuters could not independently verify the proposals, which the Journal said have not yet been made public.

The Deepwater Horizon rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico left 11 dead and led to the largest oil spill in U.S. history. Oil company BP paid out around $60 billion in fines and clean-up costs.

Reporting By Karen Brettell; Editing by Susan Thomas