The European Union is set to introduce legislation governing the 27-nation bloc's oil and gas sector after the European Parliament and Council reached a political agreement on a proposed directive.
The European Union is set to introduce legislation governing the 27-nation bloc’s oil and gas sector after the European Parliament and Council reached a political agreement on a proposed directive.
The European Commission says that the proposed new legislation will guarantee that the highest safety, health and environmental standards will apply across the EU and will also prevent major accidents.
"Recent ‘near-misses’ in EU waters reminded us of the need for a stringent safety regime," said Günther Oettinger, EU Commissioner for Energy. "These rules will make sure that the highest safety standards already mostly in place in some Member States will be followed at every oil and gas platform across Europe."
The proposed directive introduces clear rules for effective prevention of major accidents, as well as responses to accidents, and calls for information about performance standards in the oil and gas industry to be made available to the public. It requires independent national competent authorities to be established, and the use of independent verifiers to validate technical solutions.
The Commission reviewed existing safety frameworks of EU Member States in the aftermath of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon accident in the Gulf of Mexico. Its proposed legislation also includes penalties that should be imposed for breaching rules.
The European Parliament and Council are expected to formally approve the legislation in the coming months.