Irish Govt to Take Over Safety Function for Upstream Oil and Gas

The Irish Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources reported that Minister Eamon Ryan announced the commencement of a four week consultation period on the draft text of the Petroleum Exploration and Extraction (Safety) Bill.

Minister Ryan said: "Since 2006, the Commission for Energy Regulation has held responsibility for the safety of processed gas activity. The purpose of the proposed Bill is to extend CER's safety remit to all upstream, or unprocessed, gas and oil undertakings. This will strengthen the safety, both onshore and offshore, of petroleum exploration activities including drilling, transmission and processing of untreated gas and oil. The safety of the design and construction of infrastructure as well as ongoing operational safety will be covered."

Minister Ryan continued: "The Bill will give effect to a key finding of both the independent safety study carried out by Advantica and the report by the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) established in my Department to review and monitor safety matters in relation to the Corrib project. In the interests of quality regulation, I have decided to publish the draft Bill which will give both the public and industry the opportunity to present their views."

The draft Heads of Bill are available from today on the website of the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources for public comment.