Ross Davidson, 30th January 2012
The head of Oil and Gas UK (OGUK) will be in Brussels today in an effort to persuade the EU to change its plans to seize regulatory control of the North Sea oil and gas industry.
Malcolm Webb, chief executive of the industry body, will meet EU officials and try to convince them not to put the UK’s health and safety regime at risk.
EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger said in October a new system was needed because the likelihood of a major offshore accident remained unacceptably high.
OGUK said yesterday Mr Webb would attempt to highlight how damaging the EU’s plans would be for firms operating safely in UK waters. A spokes-woman for the organisation said: “Mr Webb will put across his position as one of several North Sea industry representatives aiming to highlight how damaging these proposed regulations could be.
“We are very concerned that these regulations in their current form would put safety in the UK at risk. We support the European Commission’s goal of raising safety standards elsewhere in the EU to the gold standard we have in the North Sea, but we do not think this is the right way to do it.”
She added that an EU directive, where member states could decide how they would achieve safety targets, would be more beneficial for UK regulators.