Energy Committee votes on offshore oil and gas safety

The European Parliament's Energy Committee has today voted on the recent agreement with the European Council on offshore oil and gas safety.

SNP MEP Alyn Smith has been closely involved in this process having previously brought together industry experts and Commission officials to discuss the issue. Alyn lodged a number of amendments to the original proposal; loosening the stringent regulation to make it a more flexible directive.

Alyn, who is a member of the Energy Committee, said:

"It's almost 25 years since the Piper Alpha disaster and it is still very clear in people's minds. In Scotland, we take offshore oil and gas safety very seriously.

"We all want to achieve the highest possible health and safety standards to protect workers, and the industry as a whole, but we also need much higher environmental standards too. Scotland has been at the heart of this process and we've managed to come up with a reasonable outcome compared to what started off as ill-considered legislation which would have been damaging to our oil and gas industry.

"The oil and gas safety regime in the North Sea is accepted as being the highest in the world. We worked to make sure that incoming EU legislation didn't diminish that safety regime; workers in the North Sea are still properly protected and some environmental protection has been added. The full Parliament still needs to vote on this and sign it off but I'm confident that we will see a sensible and workable end result."