We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

Oil and gas safety put at risk by European Commission plans

September 4, 2012 3:02 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

George Lyon, Liberal Democrat MEP for Scotland, has joined with other UK MEPs to amend European Commission proposals that could threaten the UK's world renowned oil and gas safety regime.

The Commission has been seeking to introduce a European regulation imposing unified safety standards since the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010 which raised fears that some European wells were similarly vulnerable.

However, the Commission's plan to create a centralised regulation could threaten Scotland's world class safety regime by taking the expertise away from the front line and dismantling established practices that are the highest quality.

Commenting after lodging amendments to the Commission's proposals, Mr Lyon said:

"After the Piper Alpha disaster and the subsequent Cullen Enquiry, platform safety standards in the North Sea and across UK wells are the best in the world.

"The amendments that UK MEPs have lodged to the Commission's proposals seek to protect the world renowned safety regime that the industry has worked hard to maintain.

"Of course, we should always be looking to improve safety. But as things stand the Commission should be focussing on bringing European standards up to the UK level, not imposing a central safety regime on all Member States.

"I want the Commission to change tack and give Member States the flexibility to use their existing expertise to improve safety standards. It must move away from the one-size-fits all approach of a centralised regulation that would simply create a new level of administrative burden and damage production.

"Imposing a new safety regime across Europe would result in the unintended and paradoxical consequence of endangering safety on rigs while the new system was implemented.

"The Commission should think again and look to the UK as a model for other Member States to follow."