Oil and Gas UK have released a paper detailing their position in relation to the European Commission’s proposal to regulate offshore safety.
The Commission are proposing to introduce a new Regulation setting strict health, safety and environmental standards for offshore operations across the EU.
Oil and Gas UK have come out strongly against any such Regulation in their position paper and accompanying press release saying that it would have an immediate detrimental effect on offshore safety standards in the UK with no significant improvement being seen in the long-term. Chief Executive Malcolm Webb has said, in a press release on the issue, that “while we (Oil and Gas UK) will always support proper moves to improve safety standards, this proposal to dismantle the UK’s world-class safety regime which is built on decades of experience and replace it with new centralised EU Regulation, is likely to have exactly the opposite effect”.
As an alternative, they suggest the goal of raising standards across the European Union could be achieved by an appropriate Directive. This could be used to facilitate improvement in those Member States currently without a significant safety regime while allowing countries who do have such systems in place, such as the UK, to continue unaffected.
While the European Commission remains committed to introducing a Regulation in this area debate will no doubt continue, especially now that Oil and Gas UK have declared their stance against it. The Oil and Gas UK press release can be found here and the position paper can be viewed here.