IMO fails to take on offshore drilling
London, 20th April 2012. The International Maritime Organisation has refused to put offshore drilling on its formal agenda, ending any immediate possibility for a new global regime on liability and compensation for oil and gas leaks.
At the April meeting of the 99th session of the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Legal Committee, a proposal by Indonesia to revise the IMO’s strategic direction was blocked by Member States with the issue only agreed to be put under ‘any other business’ in future meetings.
Indonesia’s proposal for the development of new mechanisms to cover liability and oil pollution compensation for damage resulting from offshore oil exploration and exploitation activities follows an accident at an offshore oil platform in Australian waters in August 2009 and which caused significant environmental damage in the Timor Sea.
Prior to the meeting the Clean Shipping Coalition - of which Seas At Risk are a founding member - called on the IMO to support the Indonesian proposal as the most appropriate International forum to advance the development of a global regime.
Although the IMO largely deals with shipping issues, there are a number of rules and regulations that go beyond just shipping impacts, such as the need for adequate port reception facilities and offshore installations are also required to meet rules relating to the dumping of garbage.
OSPAR COUNTRIES DROP DRILLING
After two years work assessing national programmes relating to the 'prevention of significant acute oil pollution from offshore drilling activities' the OSPAR Offshore Industry Committee in March this year decided not to consider or take any OSPAR measure, despite the large risks associated with offshore drilling.
The review of national programmes came about largely because of the Deepwater Horizon catastophe in the US Gulf Coast and was agreed at the OSPAR Ministerial meeting in 2010 that considered an oil drilling moratorium in the North East Atlantic.
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To read the CSC press release on offshore drilling