The proposed EU-wide offshore oil and gas safety regulation is being continually improved by the European Parliament, hailed sole Scots MEP on the Energy Committee Alyn Smith. This comes in the wake of a debate in the Committee today which saw broad support for calls to turn the proposed regulation into a more legally flexible directive.
The Committee also focused on an amendment which would insist that oil and gas companies must have the financial means and resources to cope should there be an accident, echoing recommendations by Alyn.
Alyn, who has previously brought together industry experts and Commission officials to discuss the issue and has lodged several amendments to the text, welcomed the vote as a victory for common-sense and proof that the engagement strategy he has been working to is starting to bear fruit.
"What was clear from this debate is that we are certainly heading in the right direction and into a position where our oil and gas industry will be protected, but also where the safety of workers and the environment is also guaranteed. I'm pleased with how things are moving and confident we'll deliver something sensible and workable.
“We all share the same concerns, and we are all committed to ensuring the highest health and safety and environmental standards possible. In Scotland, we take the issue very seriously indeed; however the proposed new EU-wide regulation would be to the detriment of our already high standards in the North Sea.
“I’m glad my colleagues in the Committee are moving towards the unanimous views of industry and union representatives.”