Halt Arctic Oil Drilling Urges UK Parliamentary Committee

Press Release
Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Environmental Audit Committee has published the report of its inquiry into Protecting the Arctic.

The Environmental Audit Committee calls for a halt on oil drilling until:
    •    A pan-Arctic oil spill response standard is in place
    •    A stricter financial liability regime for oil and gas operations is introduced that requires companies to prove that they can meet the costs of cleaning up
    •    An oil and gas industry group is set up to peer-review companies' spill response plans and operating practices, reporting publicly
    •    Further independent research and testing on oil spill response techniques in Arctic conditions is conducted, including an assessment of their environmental side-effects
    •    An internationally recognised environmental sanctuary is established in at least part of the Arctic

Chair of the Committee, Joan Walley MP, said:
"The oil companies should come clean and admit that dealing with an oil spill in the icy extremes of the Arctic would be exceptionally difficult.
The infrastructure to mount a big clean-up operation is simply not in place and conventional oil spill response techniques have not been proven to work in such severe conditions.

Drilling is only currently feasible in the Arctic during a short summer window when it is relatively ice-free.

We heard compelling evidence that if a blow-out occurred just before the dark Arctic winter returned it may not be possible to cap it until the following summer - potentially leaving oil spewing out under the ice for six months or more with devastating consequences for wildlife"

The report also looks at the effect that climate change is having on the Arctic. It warns that a collapse in summer Arctic sea-ice, increased methane emissions from thawing permafrost, melting of the Greenland ice-sheet and changes to the thermo-haline circulation could all have disastrous consequences for the world - pushing up sea levels and transforming weather patterns.

Temperature rises in the Arctic are already affecting the UK's weather, according to evidence submitted to the inquiry. The UK is warming more slowly when compared with the rest of continental Europe, as the decrease in the thermo-haline circulation means that less heat is being brought to Britain by the Gulf Stream.

Caroline Lucas MP, a member of the Committee, said:
"This hard hitting, cross party report comes at a time when the race to carve up the Arctic is accelerating faster than our regulatory or technical capacity to manage it.

The Arctic oil rush is bringing unprecedented risks to the area, and it’s now clear that the consequences of any potential oil spill would be catastrophic.

The UK government now has a responsibility to respond to this EAC report and show vital leadership on the issue by doing all it can to urgently secure a moratorium on Arctic drilling – starting with companies registered in this country."

Joan Walley MP, concluded:
"Concerns over climate change should be recognised internationally as a limiting factor on any new oil and gas drilling in the Arctic."




 

Maritime Reporter August 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Environmental

MN: Corvus Energy

The Company: Corvus is a manufacturer of proven, high power Energy Storage Systems (ESS). Its field proven battery systems provide power to hybrid and fully electric marine propulsion systems.

LNG-fueled Box Ship a 'Momentous Step Forward'

On Saturday, August 29, 2015, the world’s first series of energy efficient containerships welcomed its second LNG-powered vessel in San Diego, fueling the U.S.

Liam Means Business for Shipping Cluster

Enterprising student Liam Finch has been putting his summer days to good use by working on an important survey for the Isle of Man Shipping Association (IOMSA).

Energy

Nigeria Ramps up Push to Eradicate Oil Theft

Nigerian authorities hope to put an end to rampant oil theft in eight months by increasing drone and naval monitoring of territorial waters and working with local communities,

MN: Corvus Energy

The Company: Corvus is a manufacturer of proven, high power Energy Storage Systems (ESS). Its field proven battery systems provide power to hybrid and fully electric marine propulsion systems.

Brent Crude Falls More than 7 Percent

Brent crude futures tumbled more than 7 percent on Tuesday, falling back below $50 a barrel as data highlighting China's contracting manufacturing sector revived

Government Update

Huntington Ingalls Cites Interest in Building US Icebreakers

Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc, which builds aircraft carriers and U.S. Navy warships, on Tuesday said it was keen to bid to build new icebreakers for the U.

Oil Exports Could Push US Gasoline Prices Lower

The price of U.S. gasoline could fall if Washington were to allow crude oil exports, an independent government report on Tuesday concluded, adding political firepower

Migrant Crisis Promts Call to IMRF for Help

Mediterranean Rescue Services are in urgent need of support because they are struggling to keep up with the replacement of equipment being used to rescue the increasing

Arctic Operations

Huntington Ingalls Cites Interest in Building US Icebreakers

Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc, which builds aircraft carriers and U.S. Navy warships, on Tuesday said it was keen to bid to build new icebreakers for the U.

Obama Pushes for US Icebreakers

President Barack Obama on Tuesday proposed a faster timetable for buying a new heavy icebreaker for the U.S. Arctic, where quickly melting sea ice has spurred more

AFBO to Provide Security in Arctic Waters

State of the Arctic Council to establish a new mechanism to strengthen operational cooperation and coordination of activities at sea. This is dictated by the

 
 
Maritime Standards Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Salvage Ship Repair Ship Simulators Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.8921 sec (1 req/sec)