Consultation on oil and gas platforms launched
Brussels, 16th March – 11th May 2011. The European Commission has launched an online consultation on offshore oil and gas platforms as part of its current deliberations over new EU standards to safeguard against a major oil spill in EU waters.
The consultation follows on from a Commission Communication published last October regarding the safety of offshore oil and gas activities and a European Parliament resolution in the same month.
As things stand, there is a lack of EU legislation pertinent to oil platforms, particularly regarding the granting of drilling permits, safety control mechanisms and environmental liability.
As a consequence of this legislative void there also lacks EU monitoring of oil drilling activities - unlike the involvement of an EU monitoring programme concerning the implementation of EU legislation in the shipping sector.
Recent reports on oil drilling activities in the US, the UK and findings concerning the Stafjord oil platform spills in 2007/2008 off Norwegian waters suggest that national authorities in some instances put too much reliance on the safety claims of oil drilling companies - making it essential that EU involvement safeguards against such weaknesses.
Seas At Risk has been calling for a moratorium on all new offshore oil drilling, and at least all such new drilling in deep and otherwise hazardous waters, until such time as the existing weaknesses attributable to offshore oil drilling in EU waters have been properly dealt with by new regulations and procedures.
Photograph by the European Commission
To give your opinion and support a strong EU response:
To read the European Parliament resolution: