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

Offshore

Motion Compensation Solution for Solan Field

Ampelmann provides access solution for commissioning of the Solan project in West of Shetland   Motion compensated access solutions developer Ampelmann informs

US Issues Potential Setback to Shell's Arctic Drilling

The Obama administration issued a potential setback to Royal Dutch Shell's  Arctic oil exploration plans on Tuesday, telling the company that established wildlife

Ex-BP Engineer Deserves New Gulf Spill Trial -US Appeals Court

A former BP Plc engineer deserves a new trial on an obstruction of justice charge related to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, a federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday.

Energy

Monopiles Terminal to Be Built in Rotterdam

Sif and Verbrugge to build terminal for offshore wind energy on Maasvlakte 2   Sif Group, Verbrugge International and the Port of Rotterdam Authority have signed

Ex-BP Engineer Deserves New Gulf Spill Trial -US Appeals Court

A former BP Plc engineer deserves a new trial on an obstruction of justice charge related to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, a federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday.

Teekay Sells FPSO, Announces Dividend Boost

Teekay Corporation to complete sale of the Knarr FPSO and announces dividend increase of 75 percent   Teekay Corporation announced today that its board of directors

Maritime Safety

Motion Compensation Solution for Solan Field

Ampelmann provides access solution for commissioning of the Solan project in West of Shetland   Motion compensated access solutions developer Ampelmann informs

Pirates and Hold-ups: Crime Strikes Venezuela's Oil Industry

When night falls over western Venezuela, armed gangs known as "pirates" sometimes ride boats into muggy Lake Maracaibo to steal equipment from oil wells.   In the country's Paraguana peninsula,

Coast Guard Monitoring Rocket Debris off US

The U.S. Coast Guard informs it is working with SpaceX and partner agencies to monitor the debris field of the exploded Falcon 9 rocket in the Atlantic Ocean more

Government Update

Monopiles Terminal to Be Built in Rotterdam

Sif and Verbrugge to build terminal for offshore wind energy on Maasvlakte 2   Sif Group, Verbrugge International and the Port of Rotterdam Authority have signed

US Issues Potential Setback to Shell's Arctic Drilling

The Obama administration issued a potential setback to Royal Dutch Shell's  Arctic oil exploration plans on Tuesday, telling the company that established wildlife

Ex-BP Engineer Deserves New Gulf Spill Trial -US Appeals Court

A former BP Plc engineer deserves a new trial on an obstruction of justice charge related to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, a federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Navigation Offshore Oil Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction 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: 0.3110 sec (3 req/sec)