EU commissioner discusses best practices for blowouts

European Union Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger met with oil and gas executives to discuss EU legislation and industry best practices to prevent or respond to a disaster in European waters like the recent Macondo blowout in the Gulf of Mexico.

Doris Leblond
OGJ Correspondent

PARIS, May 13 -- European Union Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger met with oil and gas executives to discuss EU legislation and industry best practices to prevent or respond to a disaster in European waters like the recent Macondo blowout in the Gulf of Mexico.

Little was divulged about what was discussed in that meeting. Oettinger later said there was a “general need and interest in initiating a dialogue on the subject of safety of operations.”

Each company was asked to nominate a high-level representative as its contact with the commission in a major emergency. A list of questions was presented to the companies, and a follow-up meeting is planned to analyze their written responses and assess the need for further action.

Contents of the questionnaire were not made public, but Oettinger's press officer told OGJ one “could imagine which questions were asked—each company's risk management and its technical options in case of accident.”

When the cause of the Macondo blowout is known, Oettinger said, “The EU will be able to determine whether any specific targeted measures need to be taken.”

Meanwhile, the commission will review existing legislation applicable to such emergencies and will establish a closer relationship with national energy regulators.

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