EC proposals for the regulation of offshore safety and environmental protection
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
David Bamford: Facing the challenges of the safety of offshore oil & gas activities with EU regulation
Last week we had an excellent Finding Petroleum Forum on 'Improving offshore safety beyond Macondo'.
I particularly want to draw your attention to the presentation by Taf Powell, an expert adviser to the European Commission on its proposals for the regulation of the offshore oil & gas industry.
Taf Powell is in the European Commission as an expert to advise the Commission in its programme for an offshore Regulation. He is from the UK where previously he was Director of HSE's Offshore Division, joining HSE from industry to work on the post Piper Alpha reforms and between 2006 and 2008 led the Government's independent investigation into the Buncefield explosions and fires.
You can find Taf's slides here, along with the video of both his presentation and the interesting Q&A session which followed(the latter obviously not covered by the slides).
Listening to Taf, I found myself agreeing with what he said. What I want to do here is to draw your attention to 3 aspects:
1. That we may well be talking here about Regulation rather than a Directive - this meaning that member states have to obey the proposals.
2. The idea that a company should be able to provide some sort of guarantee, against the cost of any damages incurred.
3. The notion of extra-territoriality - that is, these proposals would apply not only to companies operating in EC waters but also to companies domiciled in the EC wherever they operate.
This is both worth reading/listening to and worth thinking about!