Safety of offshore oil and gas operations
Offshore oil and gas accidents are a constant possibility. The regulation establishes minimum safety requirements to prevent them and to limit their consequences for the marine environment and coastal economies if they do occur.
Directive 2013/30/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 June 2013 on safety of offshore oil and gas operations and amending Directive 2004/35/EC.
As the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the United States in 2010 or the Usumacinta incident in Mexico 3 years earlier demonstrated, offshore oil and gas accidents can have disastrous environmental and financial consequences as well as leading to loss of life.
The European Union directive on the safety of offshore operations, adopted in June 2013, requires operators to take all necessary measures to prevent any major accidents and to have available sufficient physical, human and financial resources to limit the consequences when they do occur. It applies to all existing and future installations.
Licensing and regulation
To carry out offshore oil and gas activities, operators must receive a licence from an independent authority. To prevent any conflict of interest, Member States must ensure a clear separation between this regulation of offshore safety and environmental factors and other functions that relate to economic development, licensing and revenue management.
Before beginning any activities, the operator or owner of an installation must provide the relevant authority with:
a copy of the corporate major accident prevention policy;
the company’s safety and environmental management system; and
a report on major hazards.
Emergency response plans
Operators must also prepare internal emergency response plans to respond to any major hazard. This must include an analysis of how to handle oil spills. In addition, national authorities must develop emergency response plans covering all offshore oil and gas installations and infrastructure, including potentially affected areas within their jurisdiction.
The directive stipulates that an exploration well cannot be drilled before the public has had an opportunity to be fully informed and make its views known on the possible effects of any planned offshore operations.
The European Maritime Security Agency can help EU countries in drawing up their emergency response plans and in detecting and monitoring oil and gas spills. Given the potential transboundary impact of an accident, national authorities must regularly exchange knowledge, information and experience with their counterparts elsewhere in the EU and consult the industry, other stakeholders and the European Commission.
Entry into force
Deadline for transposition in the Member States
OJ L 178 of 28.6.2013
Important Notice! This website is provided for informational purposes only! It is a fundamental condition of the use of this website that no liability is accepted for any loss or damage caused by reason of any error, omission, or misstatement in its contents.
Draft Articles; The articles on this website are in draft form and are subject to further review for typographical errors and, in some cases, updating and correction. It is intended to include references to the sources of materials and acknowledgements in the final version. The content of articles with [EU] in the title and some of the articles in the section on Agriculture are a reproduction of or are based on European or Irish public sector information.