Oil & Gas UK rejects 'blanket' offshore drilling safety rules

New proposals by the European Union's executive body to increase the safety of oil and gas offshore drilling have been rejected by industry lobbying group Oil & Gas UK.

“Oil & Gas UK is opposed to blanket EU regulation of this country’s offshore oil and gas industry, which operates under a fully fit for purpose and robust regulatory regime,” said Oil & Gas UK Chief Executive Officer Malcolm Webb.

“Relinquishing regulatory control to the EU, which has no established competence in this matter and where only 3 out of the 27 member-states have an offshore oil and gas industry of real scale, risks undermining safety and environmental performance here in the UK,” Webb said.

“The EU could take other action…to bring member-states outside the North Sea up to the high standards achieved in this area,” said Webb, who added that, “blanket regulation of the type we understand is now being proposed will not, in our opinion, even achieve that end.”

According to the new proposal by the European Commission, the EU’s executive body, companies will have to submit to national authorities a plan on how they are ensuring safety for personnel and preventing environmental hazards.

They also will have to demonstrate they would be ready to react to any emergency and have the necessary financial and technical capabilities to clean up in case of a major accident.

"The [EC] calls upon the member-states to review all complex oil or gas exploration operations and to ensure that best practice standards are uniformly applied across the EU," said EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger.

Oettinger said while any decision to suspend offshore drilling operations is left to the discretion of member-states, the EC repeats its call on the member-states “to rigorously apply a precautionary approach in the licensing of new complex oil or gas exploration operations.”

Oettinger also urged member-states to examine “whether a suspension of such licensing is needed until the European offshore safety regimes have been assessed in light of the Deepwater Horizon accident.”

The new proposal will have to be backed by the European Parliament and EU governments before becoming law.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

Related Articles

EPA leads investigation of crude discharge at BP Whiting refinery

03/26/2014 The US Environmental Protection Agency took formal charge of investigation and cleanup efforts after an undetermined amount of crude oil spilled in...

EIA: China exceeds US as the largest net petroleum importer

03/26/2014 In September 2013, China’s net imports of petroleum and other liquids exceeded those of the US on a monthly basis, making it the world’s largest ne...

EIA: Tight oil production pushes US supply to more than 10% of world’s total

03/26/2014 US tight oil production averaged 3.22 million b/d in the fourth quarter of 2013, pushing overall US crude oil production to more than 10% of the wo...

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX oil futures drop with HSC partially reopened

03/26/2014 Crude oil prices fluctuated but ended the New York trading session down modestly Mar. 25 after the US Coast Guard reopened the Houston Ship Channel...

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected