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EU Reaches Deal on New Offshore Oil, Gas Safety Rules

In the aftermath of the "Deepwater Horizon" accident in the Gulf of Mexico in May 2010 a commission reviewed the existing Member States' safety frameworks for offshore operations and proposed new legislation to guarantee that world's highest safety, health and environmental standards apply everywhere in the EU.

On Thursday, the European Parliament announced a political agreement on the commission's legislative proposal on the safety of oil and gas operations in the EU. The European Parliament and Council are expected to formally approve the legislation in the coming months.

EU energy commissioner Günther Oettinger responded, "I welcome this major step enhancing the safety of offshore oil and gas production in the EU. Past accidents have shown the devastating consequences when things go badly wrong offshore. Recent 'near-misses' in EU waters reminded us of the need for a stringent safety regime. These rules will make sure that the highest safety standards already mostly in place in some Member States will be followed at every oil and gas platform across Europe. Furthermore, the new law will ensure that we react effectively and promptly in the event of an accident and minimize the possible damage to the environment and the livelihoods of coastal communities."

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