Charles Hendry has said DECC and the HSE will double their efforts to inspect offshore oil rigs. Just as BP announced they have finally stemmed the massive gulf leak Mr Hendry responded to a question by Shadow Energy Secretary Ed Milliband asking how many annual inspections took place in UK waters.
At present there are 22 drilling rigs operating in UK waters. HSE have confirmed that their health and safety intervention plans propose at least one annual visit to every mobile drilling rig working in UK waters.
Mr Hendry stated that DECC’s Offshore Inspectorate undertake a series of prioritised environmental inspections to fixed installations and drilling rigs. Over the past three years an annual average of nine drilling rig inspections have been undertaken,it is DECC’s intention to double this to a minimum of 18 drilling inspections annually, depending on the level of drilling activity taking place.
Last month DECC announced they would be reviewing the indemnity and insurance requirements for operating in the UK continental shelf. Also Industry trade association Oil and Gas UK has established a new group of regulators and oil companies to examine the UK’s strengths and weaknesses in responding to a Gulf like incident. The Oil Spill Prevention and Response Advisory Group, or OSPRAG met for the first time three weeks ago. DECC is participating in this group and the Secretary of State will be examining its findings closely.
Hansard Source: TheyWorkForYou.com