The European Parliament authorized a new offshore oil and gas operations directive that requires operators to prove their ability to cover potential liabilities and to submit major hazard reports and emergency response plans before operations start. EU energy commissioner Gunter Oettinger said to VG that Norway immediately needs to apply this new EU Directive for offshore safety in the North Sea and Norwegian waters.
In response to the directive, Petroleum and Energy Ola Borten Moe (Sp) said that it is absolutely impossible to adopt the EU directive on safety on offshore installations in Norwegian waters. He said that the EEA Agreement does not apply outside the Norwegian 12-mile limit and that Norwegian security policy is much stricter than the EU, that the EU directive is not relevant.
But Oettinger is worried about another conflict between the EU and Norway on the EU directive, and warned Norway about the implication of the new safety rules. Environemental organziation Bellona’s president Frederic Hauge supports the EU’s stance so they can complain Norwegian oil companies at international level, rather than to the Norwegian authorities.