O&G UK Deems Proposed Offshore Regulation 'Unnecessary'

Oil & Gas UK will attend a meeting Tuesday in Brussels to reiterate its opposition to the European Commission's proposed safety Regulation which Oil & Gas UK sees as a retrograde step more likely to damage than enhance the safety of UK offshore oil and gas operations.

Chief executive, Malcolm Webb, said, "Oil & Gas UK is extremely concerned by the European Commission's proposals for EU Regulation of offshore safety. While we 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 centralized EU Regulation, is likely to have exactly the opposite effect. We are encouraged by the fact that the UK Government is of the same position and has signaled its intention to oppose the Regulation in the best interests of safety.

"The Commission has put forward an unjustified, poorly-worded and ambiguous draft Regulation which risks causing serious confusion within the industry and a very significant amount of unnecessary and unproductive work for regulators in the UK and elsewhere. This will only serve to stretch the resources of those regulators and divert attention away from their work with the industry on front line safety issues.

"Of the 27 EU member states, only three (the UK, Netherlands and Denmark) have offshore oil and gas industries of real scale and Norway, as a country within the European Economic Area, would also be subject to this Regulation despite having no vote on the matter. To propose that offshore safety in these four countries, which the Commission accepts are global leaders in offshore safety, should be placed under the effective control of the EU, which has absolutely no experience or competence in the regulation of safety in the offshore oil and gas industry is, in our view, totally lacking in balance.

"Transferring legislative competence to a group of countries without any experience in the matter carries a very significant risk for the future of safety in the North Sea; the same is true for countries outside the North Sea, such as Italy, which have smaller production volumes but nonetheless very effective regulatory systems and an exemplary safety record.

"Running the risk of damaging North Sea safety is totally unnecessary as any lagging safety regimes in the EU could be more effectively encouraged to come up to North Sea standards via an EU Directive whilst leaving those world class safety systems intact. If this route was taken, the UK oil and gas industry would be happy to work closely with the Commission to help disseminate good North Sea practices."


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Generated by readers, the comments included herein do not reflect the views and opinions of Rigzone. All comments are subject to editorial review. Off-topic, inappropriate or insulting comments will be removed.
Aly | Feb. 2, 2012
Hi there - I work in oilfield services here in Houston. I agree with @John, you'd think that a governing body would model its procedures after what works and what has clearly worked well for years - rather than impose new, unproven, inferior practices. It'll be interesting to see what happens in the future. Anyhow, thanks for sharing! - Aly

Andrew D Smith-Lawrence, CMIOSH | Feb. 1, 2012
26 years in the Oil Industry and the EU once again forgets one key aspect, The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (Enabling). Tell the meddling EU to go to hell and leave a system which is effective alone. Mr. Cameron needs to put the EU firmly in their place. Euro Prats!

Daniel Dominick | Jan. 31, 2012
I have worked in the UK sector of the North Sea for 20 yrs. I know that the EU has assisted in the safety of offshore workers. In this case I agree with O&G UK, the HSE are doing a great job in UK Offshore safety Auditing and should be left to do the job they know and care about better than any other similar body to any similar industry in the world, bar none. I would hope that the UK unions are backing our Legislature.

John G Davies | Jan. 31, 2012
Yet another example of EU attempting to put in place regulations on which they know little or nothing. Common sense has gone out of the window. Why go to the countries who know nothing? Logic dictates that the EU should adopt the regimes of countries who have spent years, albeit on the back of incidents, improve safety standards in the North Sea and which have become the benchmark globally. Even the USA has been adopting UKCS/Danish/Norwegian and Dutch standards. Wake up EU the wheel has already been invented use it, it is in good condition or do you think that a square wheel would work better?????????

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