CATEGORIZED | News

UK to increase North Sea rig inspections

Posted on 09 June 2010

Chris Huhne, UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change

Chris Huhne, UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change

In response to the activities in the Gulf of Mexico, UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Chris Huhne announced on 8 June that the government plans to double the number of annual inspections of drilling rigs and increase monitoring of offshore compliance. The government has also asked a newly formed oil industry group to report on the UK’s ability to prevent and respond to oil spills.

“The events unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico are devastating and will be enduring. What we are seeing will transform the regulation of deepwater drilling worldwide,” Mr Huhne said. “It’s my responsibility to make sure that the oil and gas industry maintains the highest practices here in UK waters.”

A review by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) found that the UK regulatory system is fit for purpose, Mr Huhne said, but in light of the spill in the Gulf, the government wants to strengthen the regime further.

“The Deepwater Horizon gives us pause for thought and, given the beginning of exploration in deeper waters west of Shetland, there is every reason to increase our vigilance,” he said.

The following actions are under way to help strengthen regulations in UK drilling:

  • DECC is increasing the oversight of drilling operations through the recruitment of additional inspectors in its Aberdeen office. This will double the number of annual inspections of drilling rigs
  • DECC is reviewing the indemnity and insurance requirements for operating on the UK continental shelf.
  • The newly developed Oil Spill Prevention and Response Advisory Group (OSPRAG) will examine the UK’s strengths and weaknesses in responding to a blowout and spill incident. DECC is participating in this group, and the secretary of state will closely examine its findings.
  • The European Union has asked companies operating in EU waters to provide assurances that they are working as hard as possible to ensure safe practices and that they are able to take full responsibilities for environmental and other damage if an incident were to occur.

Leave a Reply

*

FEATURED MICROSITES


Recent Drilling News

  • 01 October 2014

    Drillmec automated rig, drilling package designed to ensure safety, increase efficiency

    Drillmec has designed an automated drilling rig – AHEAD, Advanced Hydraulic Electrical Automated Driller – that reduces the rig footprint by approximately 50%...

  • 01 October 2014

    Noble Energy to resume exploration drilling offshore Falkland Islands

    Noble Energy.plans to resume exploration drilling in the Falkland Islands in 2015, following the acquisition and evaluation of an extensive 3D seismic program…

  • 01 October 2014

    Video: Schlumberger mapping-while-drilling service expands view around wellbore

    GeoSphere, Schlumberger’s new reservoir mapping-while-drilling service, optimizes well placement operations and steering capabilities with deep-directional...

  • 30 September 2014

    Statoil, Shell and Sonatrach awarded acreage onshore Algeria

    Statoil and Shell were awarded the Timissit Permit License in the Illizi-Ghadames Basin onshore Algeria. The license is in southeastern Algeria and covers an area of 2,730 sq km...

  • 29 September 2014

    Rosneft discovers oil in Kara Sea

    Rosneft successfully completed the drilling of the Universitetskaya-1 well in the Arctic – the northernmost well in the world, according to the company, and discovered oil at the East-Prinovozemelskiy-1 license area...

  • Read more news