European Energy Committee approved a draft law according to which offshore oil and gas firms will have to submit major hazard reports and emergency response plans before getting a drilling license.

The drilling license will be granted if the firm proves enough cash to rectify and environmental damage caused during the drilling. Oil &

Oil & Gas UK chief executive Malcolm Webb said the offshore safety regulation proposed by the European Commission would have involved unnecessary and significant legal and administrative disruptions with consequential risks for safety.

"We trust that the European Parliament, Council and Commission will now look to work constructively together towards a well-worded Directive as the best way forward," Webb said.

The draft was crafted by to prevent any accidents such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Ivo Belet said Europe is working towards minimizing the environmental and safety risks associated with offshore oil and gas exploration.

"Especially today, when many member states with no or little experience in oil and gas operations, are looking into starting up drilling operations, a solid legislative framework is urgently needed," said Belet.

The proposed draft was voted in favor with 48 votes and is expected to replace the EU member states’ current patchwork of laws and practices offshore drilling activities.