European Countries Reject Proposed Drilling Ban

European countries that are members of OSPAR have rejected an Atlantic deepwater offshore drilling ban proposed by Germany, according the media reports.

The proposal was withdrawn from the OSPAR Commission meeting this week in Bergen, Norway due to pressure oil-producing countries and OSPAR members Norway, Denmark and Britain.

A spokesperson for Norway's Environmental Ministry has said that OSPAR will wait until the outcome of reports on the cause of the Deepwater Horizon incident in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico before a decision is made on Atlantic deepwater drilling offshore Europe. The Deepwater Horizon accident has prompted Norway and other countries to examine its drilling and safety regulations to prevent a similar incident from happening elsewhere.

OSPAR is an organization of 15 European governments that cooperate to protect the marine environment of the North-East Atlantic.

The 15 member governments are Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom.