Oil & Gas UK refuted Greenpeace's claims that the UK oil and gas industry operates recklessly and that there should be a moratorium on deep-sea drilling in UK coastal waters. Under a regulatory regime which has set an example for the rest of the world to follow, almost 7,000 wells have been successfully drilled, including several hundred in the west of Shetland area.
In the UK, we have strong and competent regulators in the Department for Energy and the Offshore Safety Division of the HSE who preside over a robust, fit for purpose regulatory regime. Our dynamic, goal setting safety regime has served us well for over twenty years of operations during which time a blowout has not been experienced. Offshore oil and gas activities are subjected to extensive environmental assessment and are strictly regulated by European and UK legislation. The regulations that are already in place to protect the environment more than meet the requirements of the Habitats Directive.
Given the UK offshore industry's good track record and strong regulation, Oil & Gas UK believes a moratorium on drilling would be a wholly unjustified reaction to the events in the Gulf of Mexico. Nevertheless, our industry is not complacent on these matters and the UK's Oil Spill Prevention and Response Advisory Group (OSPRAG) in which industry, the regulators and the trade unions are all engaged, is already carrying out a thorough review of UK procedures and practices and will institute any changes seen to be necessary either as a result of that review or the findings of the investigations and enquiries currently ongoing in the United States.
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