Just days before European rules on offshore safety for European companies abroad enter into force, and just a few months before additional requirements for companies operating in US waters take effect, the European Commissioner for energy, Guenther Oettinger, has called for operating and drilling companies to deliver the highest standards including when operating outside of American and European regulated waters.
At the time of his visit to Washington on 16 July Commissioner Oettinger said that the path to a strong and reliable culture of offshore safety depends upon global companies operating to the highest standards. Offshore accidents around the world continue to involve American and European companies. This places the spotlight on the global companies – who have done much to improve standards since Macondo – to give leadership to safety wherever they operate, and where the US and EU rules do not apply.
The Commissioner said: “Under separate arrangements coming into force this year in Europe and the US, national regulators will exercise additional vigilance over oil and gas companies to ensure they accelerate the advances in technology and human understanding achieved since Macondo, whilst exercising stringent control of risks of major accidents at all times.”
Oettinger added: “We call upon oil and gas companies and drilling contractors operating in EU waters to respond to the challenge to their leadership in global safety and environmental protection. We call on them to exert their influence to see a rise in standards both rapidly and permanently, and to ensure the transparency of that achievement. Beginning without delay, we hope to see full and rigorous disclosure of safety data by all companies in the international industry associations’ reports.”
The Commissioner concluded: “Our colleagues in the US DoI have reaffirmed the value of the long-standing cooperation between offshore regulators in Europe and the USA in securing the transparently highest levels of safety in the offshore oil and gas industry. On Thursday I will meet with the leaders of the offshore industry in Houston, and I look forward to hearing their views on what more is to be done to reassure people everywhere that the safety lessons of Macondo – and indeed the legacy of Piper Alpha – are truly and visibly embedded wherever our companies operate.”