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

Environmental

Boost for Offshore Wind Energy

As part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan to create American jobs, develop domestic clean energy resources and cut carbon pollution, Secretary of the Interior

Gypsy Moth Clause Takes Balanced Approach to Risk

A new BIMCO clause provides a simple, practical and commercial solution focusing on the basic obligations and responsibilities of owners and charterers when dealing with the Asian Gypsy Moth (AGM).

Maersk Line Gets new AEO number

Maersk Line has been re-certified as an Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) with the AEO-F, the highest achievable accreditation in the European Union programme.

Energy

Boost for Offshore Wind Energy

As part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan to create American jobs, develop domestic clean energy resources and cut carbon pollution, Secretary of the Interior

Coldharbour Marine's New UK Office

Coldharbour Marine, long recognised for the design, manufacture and supply of inert gas and fluid handling equipment vessels (FPSOs) has moved into a new 25k sq.

Bangladesh Aims to be World's 'First Solar Nation

Residents of Islampur, a remote village in the northern Bangladeshi district of Naogaon, were stunned one night last summer when the darkness was suddenly illuminated

Government Update

Boost for Offshore Wind Energy

As part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan to create American jobs, develop domestic clean energy resources and cut carbon pollution, Secretary of the Interior

New Defense Cooperation with India

Today, on his historic visit to India, President Obama and Prime Minister Modi announced new, ground-breaking agreements on defense cooperation between India

India Not Pressurized by US-China Deal

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said a climate deal between the United States and China does not put pressure on India, but that global warming itself was reason to take action.

Arctic Operations

Irving Celebrates Canadian AOPS Build Contract

Government of Canada & Irving Shipbuilding mark signing of $2.3 billion AOPS build contract; 3,600 Jobs across Canada generated from Irving’s NSPS commitments to

Sanctions Dampen Traffic on Russia's Arctic Route

Often heralded as new shipping lane, Arctic shipments fall. Western sanctions on Russia are restricting the Arctic shipping route along its north coast to

Fishing Vessel Sinks Off Alaska

U.S. Coast Guard Sector Juneau personnel are responded to the sinking of the 80-foot fishing vessel Eyak approximately 13 miles south of Sitka Harbor, Monday.   Sector

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Maritime Standards Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Simulators Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | 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: 0.1958 sec (5 req/sec)