We have previously reported on the Offshore Safety Directive on several occasions, including in February of this year. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have today opened a public consultation into the implementation of Directive 2013/30/EU on the safety of offshore oil and gas operations and amending Directive 2004/35/EC, and on the review of offshore Approved Codes of Practice and the updating of UK onshore oil and gas safety legislation to cover emerging energy technologies.

Following the Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010, the European Commission (EC) expressed its initial views on the safety of offshore oil and gas operations in the publication "Facing the challenge of the safety of offshore oil and gas activities", published on 13 October 2010. The publication came to the conclusion that the current “fragmented regulatory framework” applying to offshore oil and gas operations in Europe, along with current industry safety practices, did not provide an adequate level of assurance that risks from offshore accidents were minimised.

On the 28th June 2013, the EC published Directive2013/30/EU on the safety of offshore oil and gas operations. The objective of this Directive is to reduce as far as possible the occurrence of major accidents related to offshore oil and gas operations and to limit their consequences. The UK is required to fully implement the Directive by transposing it into the national legislative framework.

The HSE indicate that the majority of the Directive’s requirements will be transposed into the new Offshore Installations (Offshore Safety Directive) (Safety Case etc.) Regulations 2015 (SCR 2015). The remaining requirements are introduced through amendment to, or the introduction of, other safety, licensing and environmental legislation.

The consultation document seeks the views of various stakeholders on the illustrative drafts of the:

  • Offshore Installations (Offshore Safety Directive) (Safety Case etc.) Regulations 2015 (SCR 2015);
  • amendments to the Offshore Installations (Prevention of Fire and Explosion, and Emergency Response) Regulations 1995 (PFEER);
  • amendments to Offshore Installations and Pipeline Works (Management and Administration) Regulations 1995 (MAR);
  • Offshore Petroleum Activities (Offshore Safety Directive) (Environmental Functions) Regulations 2015;
  • amendments to the Merchant Shipping (Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation Convention) Regulations 1998; and
  • Offshore Petroleum Licensing (Offshore Safety Directive) Regulations 2015

Further, the consultation also seeks stakeholder views on the initial assessment of the costs and benefits of the proposed changes as set out in the Impact Assessment.

This consultation began on 28 July and ends on 21 September 2014. A full copy of the consultative document can be accessed here.

Those interested in responding should do so to the below address:

Offshore Directive Policy Team 
Health and Safety Executive
5S2 Redgrave Court
Merton Road
Bootle
L20 7HS
Email: offshoredirective@hse.gsi.gov.uk