UK industry group endorses drilling report

Oil & Gas UK welcomes Britain’s Energy and Climate Change Committee’s rejection of calls for a moratorium on offshore drilling in UK waters, and for increased regulatory oversight by the European Commission.

Offshore staff

LONDON -- Oil & Gas UK welcomes Britain’s Energy and Climate Change Committee’s rejection of calls for a moratorium on offshore drilling in UK waters, and for increased regulatory oversight by the European Commission.

The industry association also points out that the Committee’s new report into UK deepwater drilling found the regulatory regime in Britain to be stricter than its counterpart in the US Gulf of Mexico.

The authors did, however, make recommendations for improvements.

Malcolm Webb, CEO of Oil & Gas UK, said: “Oil & Gas UK welcomes the Committee’s clear statement that a moratorium on drilling in the UK is not only unnecessary but would also undermine UK energy security. We also warmly welcome the Committee’s utter rejection of calls for increased regulatory oversight from the European Commission, which we believe could weaken the UK’s strong regulation and safety performance.

“The review being carried out by the Oil Spill Prevention and Response Advisory Group (OSPRAG), comprising industry, regulators and trade unions, has also confirmed that the UK Safety Case regime drives the right behaviours and furthermore OSPRAG has already made significant progress in addressing a number of the concerns raised by the Committee, including the design of the new capping system capable of dealing with sub-sea blowouts, the development of which the Committee specifically welcomed.

“There are in the report a number of detailed recommendations (such as that for two sets of blind shear rams on blowout preventers) and observations (such as the perceived lack of clarity on the identity of parties liable for offshore incidents) which we do not entirely support. We will write to the Committee with our views on these matters shortly.”

01/06/2011

More in Drilling & Completion