Smith Pushes Back EU Oil And Gas Regulation

Alyn Smith MEP has kept up the pressure on a proposed new EU-wide Offshore Oil and Gas Safety Regulation, which if passed as proposed could cost the industry about £8 billion and actually undermine the existing North Sea safety regime.

Speaking after lodging 18 amendments to the proposed Regulation which will clarify the scope and ensure the eventual package is workable, Mr Smith said:

“I'm the Scottish MEP on the Parliament’s energy committee so it's down to me to protect Scotland's interests. The current legislative proposal from the Commission is not fit for purpose and could cost the industry up to £8 billion, blanket regulation across the whole of Europe would be detrimental when Scotland has been leading the way for so long.

“The EU proposals are well intended and of course there is no room for complacency when it comes to safety regulations but, having discussed the issue at length with many inside the industry and union representatives, there is unanimity that the proposals in their current form will do more harm than good. 

“In Scotland, we take the issue very seriously and our health and safety record is amongst the best in the world because we learned from horrific fatal errors like Piper Alpha. 

"One of the amendments I've lodged is a proposal to change the Commission’s plan from an EU-wide ban to a directive, meaning that the new regulations would become in effect guidance to Member States rather than directly applicable European legislation.

“Hopefully now these amendments will gain the backing of my colleagues in the Parliament. We all share the same concerns when it comes to preventing accidents in our waters and are committed to ensuring our world leading safety records are maintained.”

For more information on work done by Alyn on the Commission’s proposal, please see his website: http://www.alynsmith.eu/index.php?mact=Search%2Ccntnt01%2Cdosearch%2C0&cntnt01returnid=82&cntnt01searchinput=Offshore+Oil+and+Gas+Safety&submit=Go&cntnt01origreturnid=84

The Fitch Ratings report, which revealed that the proposals could cost the industry up to £8 billion can be viewed here:http://www.fitchratings.com/web/en/dynamic/articles/Rising-Credit-Risk-for-EU-Offshore-Oil-and-Gas-Production.jsp

For further information on the Commission's proposals:http://ec.europa.eu/energy/oil/offshore/standards_en.htm