European Parliament spurns drilling halt

By OGJ editors
-- The European Parliament excluded a moratorium on offshore drilling from recommendations it has made in response the Apr. 20 blowout and explosion at the Macondo well in the US Gulf of Mexico.

In an Oct. 7 resolution, the EP called on the European Commission and other authorities to consider a wide range of regulatory measures to ensure offshore safety and supported adoption of “a common European, cross-border oil spill prevention and response system.”

In omitting a drilling moratorium from its list, the EP aligned its action with that of the OSPAR group of 15 European governments, which works with European authorities to protect marine environment of the Northeast Atlantic (OGJ Online, Sept. 27, 2010).

Oil & Gas UK, a trade group representing offshore operators, welcomed “the clear signal” it said EP members sent the EC “that a moratorium on deep-sea drilling is unjustified and inappropriate.”

But the group said the EP resolution showed support for “other measures which we believe are unjustified.” It said, “We have highly technically competent and professional regulators, and there can be no benefit to the UK in duplicating their expertise.”

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