NEWS: Hall: MEPs call for strict safety regime for offshore oil and gas drilling

Fiona Hall MEPMEPs today sent a strong signal of support to the European Commission on the need for a tighter safety regime for offshore oil and gas activities, including site-specific contingency plans.

The European Parliament’s plenary voted overwhelmingly in favour of a report to update safety rules and close loopholes in current legislation by bringing regulation in all Member States up to the level of best practice, with particular reference to theUK’s safety case approach. 

The Leader of the Liberal Democrat delegation in the European Parliament and energy spokesperson, Fiona Hall MEP, said:

“The recent oil spill in the North Sea has been  a  reminder of how important it is to put in place site-specific contingency plans as well as ensuring that all offshore oil and gas activities are subjected to the highest safety standards in all European waters.

“Even more than that, we must push the industry to employ the same EU safety standards wherever they are operating in the world. This is particularly true for the Arctic region where the very sensitive environment demands a very special safety regime.

“The Commission has already indicated that it is prepared to tighten up the rules. It is very important that this is done in an effective way, building on established best practice in some Member States, in particular the UK’s safety case approach, and a strictly enforced safety culture.  Pressure must be brought to bear on all Member States to implement and enforce any new safety regime and on companies to live up to their corporate responsibility and commit to a true safety culture within their organisations.”

The Commission is due to publish its legislative package on offshore oil and gas activities this autumn.

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