Oil committee "confident" drilling safety standards will continue

The safety group tasked with assessing the UK’s ability to cope with oil spills is “confident” high safety standards will continue, but found that there is still work to be […]

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By Vicky Ellis

The safety group tasked with assessing the UK’s ability to cope with oil spills is “confident” high safety standards will continue, but found that there is still work to be done. The Oil Spill Prevention and Response Advisory Group, which was formed in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico disaster, made the assertion in its final report yesterday.

The drilling safety group said: “OSPRAG is confident that the UK stands in good stead to ensure that high standards in well design, construction and management will continue to be enforced on the UKCS (Continental Shelf) and that, in the unlikely event that a major uncontrolled well incident occurs, the industry’s strengthened contingency plans will allow an effective and robust response.”

However, the review found there were some issues with dealing with oil reaching the shoreline that need more work . OSPRAG suggests a further look at mapping sensitive areas of coastline, how to use booms to block or channel oil, and the role of local authorities in responses. The results of a study into these will be presented to the Oil Spill Response Forum in October.