European Union Imposes Fresh Regulations on Offshore Oil and Gas, Responding to 2010 BP Oil Spill
June 10, 2013 10:34 PM EST
The Council of the European Union has adopted fresh legislation to reduce the risk and impact of major accidents stemming from offshore oil and gas operations.
The new regulatory framework puts into place minimum safety standards for offshore exploration and exploitation of oil and gas, and clarifies how nations and companies must respond to major accidents.
The text of the legislation mentions the 2010 British Petroleum (LSE:BP) oil spill, in the Gulf of Mexico, as one accident which spurred fresh regulation.
According to the legislation, an “existing divergent and fragmented regulatory framework…and current industry safety practices do not provide a fully adequate assurance that the risk of offshore accidents is minimized throughout the Union.”
A European Council spokesperson said that the regulation applies to all companies headquartered in the European Union, even if their offshore oil and gas activities aren’t located in Europe.
“The aim is to prevent such incidents happening,” said the spokeswoman, referring to major accidents like the BP oil spill. “If it happens, then this new legislation establishes rules on how to proceed, and what should be done.”
She said the European Parliament also voted to back the legislation in May. The directive also aims to improve co-operation between member states and make the information they share more transparent.
The law applies to both existing and future installations, and takes effect in roughly two months. Member states with offshore waters have about two years to transpose the directive into national legislation, however.
The European Council spokeswoman said impact assessments and studies done by the European Commission contributed to the three year lag between the 2010 accident and the ratification of this new regulatory framework.
According to Bloomberg, oil and gas companies must submit special hazard reports and emergency response plans before they can start their offshore operations.
Operators must also prove that they can pay for potential liabilities. The legislation shifts the zone for liabilities from 22 kilometers from the coast, to 370 kilometers from the coast.
According to an EU press release, over 90 percent of oil and over 60 percent of gas produced in the EU and Norway come from offshore operations.
For more information on the EU’s draft standards on offshore oil and gas, look here.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Kate Middleton Suffocated in Kensington Palace, Queen Elizabeth Reported War With The Duchess [PHOTOS]
- Brad Pitt Still in Love with Ex-Wife Jennifer Aniston, Staying with Angelina Jolie for Sake of Kids, Claims Brad's Psychic
- British Style Icon Kate Middleton Fashion Talk With Camilla Parker-Bowles Daughter-In-Law [PHOTOS]
- Transfer News: Manchester United's Possible Transfer Options For This Season
Join the Conversation
- James Foley Beheading Video Has Play-Acting Portions – Video Experts Say
- Apple iPhone 6 Release Date, iPhone 6C or 6L Anticipation: Three Things Should Matter To New Phone Shoppers
- Upcoming Sony Xperia Z3 With Dual-SIM Support Gets Approved In China; Full Specifications Revealed; Amber-Coloured Xperia Z3 Tipped
- More Nexus 8/Nexus 9 Release Confirmed with More Leaks and Out of Stock Nexus 7 and 10
- James Foley: Release of Beheading Video by ISIS Meant to Attract More Recruits to Join the Cause – Intelligence
- 2015 Ford Mustang: Right-Hand Drive Pony Car To Be Available In Australia Next Year
- James Foley: ISIS Demanded Multimillion Ransom, US Refused To Pay---Reports