Specialist UK Unit Increases Post-Macondo Inspections

press release
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Laura Cameron, Partner at Pinsent Masons

- News comes amid EU attempts to change safety rules.


The UK government unit responsible for monitoring offshore safety has become increasingly active in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, according to international law firm Pinsent Masons.

 

Energy specialists at the firm say that the number of inspections carried out by the Offshore Environmental Inspectorate (OEI), part of the Department of Energy and Climate Change, have increased by over 70% since 2007. Inspections are also on course to rise by around a third since the Gulf of Mexico spill.

 

The news coincides with the two year anniversary of the Gulf leak being capped and comes at a sensitive time for the oil and gas industry after the European Union recently outlined proposals for a Regulation governing offshore safety – something which critics argue would effectively lower safety standards.

 

Oil and Gas UK, the body representing the industry, recently said that the EU proposals would "dismantle the UK's world-class safety regime" and have the opposite effect of that intended. Laura Cameron, a Partner at Pinsent Masons, says that the increased level of inspections by UK authorities "is clear evidence that the EU is trying to fix something which is not broken". Cameron said: "Oil and gas operators in the UK learnt some very difficult lessons after Piper Alpha and the Cullen Report. It would be catastrophic if we see any diminishment of standards in the UK as a result of EU action.

 

"The UK offshore safety regime is one of the toughest in the world. Directors can be held personally and criminally liable for health & safety failings under the Health and Safety at Work Act. In our experience, that certainly focuses the mind at boardroom level, so it's hard to see how an additional level of bureaucracy at an EU level would make a significant or beneficial difference.

 

"Further, these figures demonstrate that DECC is playing an active and energetic role in using its powers of inspection. The message has to be that they should be allowed to get on with it and that the industry should not be subjected to unnecessary change."

 

Pinsent Masons, which obtained the data through a Freedom of Information request, points out that the number of Enforcement Notices issued by OEI – orders to comply with relevant regulations of face prosecution – are also on the rise. Meanwhile, prosecutions undertaken by OEI are down, something which Cameron says suggests that operators are heeding warning shots.

 

Cameron added: "We shouldn't underestimate the impact that uncertainty like this can have on investment decisions. Aberdeen is the oil capital of Europe and as such it's important that the views of its constituents are heard at Holyrood, in Westminster and in Brussels."

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

Offshore

U.S. DoI Upholds 2008 Shell Arctic Lease

The U.S. Interior Department on Tuesday upheld a 2008 lease sale in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska, moving Royal Dutch Shell a step closer to returning to oil and gas

Japan, U.S. Look to Expand Naval Cooperation

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's push to allow Tokyo to come to the aid of an ally under attack will pave the way for closer cooperation between U.S. and Japanese forces across Asia, a top U.

BP Terminates GoM Rig Contracts

BP terminated contracts for two deepwater oil drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico as the British oil company slashes its exploration budget due to fallen oil prices.

Energy

GasLog Acquires 2 BG Group's Carriers

GasLog Ltd. completed the acquisition of two LNG carriers from Methane Services Limited (“MSL”), a subsidiary of BG Group plc (“BG”), which was previously announced on December 22, 2014.

Chevron's Kirkland to Retire

Chevron Corporation confirmed today that George L. Kirkland, vice chairman and executive vice president, Upstream, will retire from the company, effective June 15.

Power Cut in Turkey Disrupts Port Operations

Port operations in Turkey are facing disruption as a result of a massive power cut that has hit dozens of provinces across the country today (Tuesday 31 March).

Maritime Safety

China's Artificial Islands in South China Sea Raises U.S. Concerns

China has been building artificial islands on reefs in the many disputed areas around the South China Sea. The unprecedented land reclamation currently being conducted

Going Nuclear in Indian Ocean

As India, Pakistan and perhaps China develop their naval nuclear forces, they will enter increasingly murky waters, says a report published in the National Interest.

Costa Concordia Used For Mafia Drug Smuggling

The doomed Costa Concordia was carrying a huge shipment of Mafia-owned cocaine when it set off on its final voyage, AP reports quoting investigators who have collected evidence.

Government Update

EU Takes Tough Stance on Ship Scrapping in South Asia

The EU is set to ban owners from scrapping ships on South Asian beaches, according to news report in Reuters.   The new rules will require that EU-registered

U.S. DoI Upholds 2008 Shell Arctic Lease

The U.S. Interior Department on Tuesday upheld a 2008 lease sale in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska, moving Royal Dutch Shell a step closer to returning to oil and gas

H2O’s Owens CrapZapper Offers More

H2O’s Owens CrapZapper marine sanitation device has dual certification to the latest IMO and USCG standards for operation anywhere in the world.   Features include low maintenance,

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Pipelines Salvage Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction 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: 0.1783 sec (6 req/sec)