LONDON, UK --The UK Offshore Operators Association (Ukooa) has reacted cautiously to the UK government's Marine Bill White Paper. While the association supports the concept of a new UK-wide system of marine planning, as an aid to greater certainty in business planning, it also has reservations.
Ukooa is concerned that a new licensing system for developments in Britain's seas might delay government approval for new offshore exploration and production projects. "Our ability to maximize recovery of the UK's indigenous oil and gas reserves must not be compromised," said Chris Allen, the association's environmental issue director.
The offshore sector does not impact the marine environment significantly, Ukooa claims, and has progressively reduced its discharges and developed technologies to reduce its overall environmental impact. The current Environmental Impact Assessment Process, it adds, ensures that the most appropriate development/exploration methods are implemented.