Oil and Gas UK have released a paper detailing their position in
relation to the European Commission's proposal to regulate
The Commission are proposing to introduce a new Regulation setting
strict health, safety and environmental standards for offshore
operations across the EU (for more information
Oil and Gas UK have come out strongly against any such Regulation
in their position paper and accompanying press release saying that
it would have an immediate detrimental effect on offshore safety
standards in the UK with no significant improvement being seen in
the long-term. Chief Executive Malcolm Webb has said, in a press
release on the issue, that "while we (Oil and Gas UK) will
always support proper moves to improve safety standards, this
proposal to dismantle the UK's world-class safety regime which
is built on decades of experience and replace it with new
centralised EU Regulation, is likely to have exactly the opposite
As an alternative, they suggest the goal of raising standards
across the European Union could be achieved by an appropriate
Directive. This could be used to facilitate improvement in those
Member States currently without a significant safety regime while
allowing countries who do have such systems in place, such as the
UK, to continue unaffected.
While the European Commission remains committed to introducing a
Regulation in this area debate will no doubt continue, especially
now that Oil and Gas UK have declared their stance against it. The
Oil and Gas UK press release can be found here and the position paper can be viewed here.
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On 23 May 2016, the North Yorkshire County Council voted in favour of an application by Third Energy to extract shale gas from an existing onshore gas well in northeast England using hydraulic fracturing.
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