EU tightens offshore-oil regulation

EU

The European Union tightened safety rules for offshore oil and natural-gas exploration to curb the risk of a major accident after BP Plc’s 2010 spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the largest in US history. The European Parliament approved legislation that forces oil and gas companies to submit special hazard reports and emergency-response plans before offshore operations can start, media reported. The law also requires operators of offshore platforms to prove their ability to cover potential liabilities and extends the zone in which businesses would be liable for damage to 370 kilometers (230 miles) off the coast from the current 22 kilometers. “The rules we are currently coming up with can be used as a template at international level,” Bloomberg quoted Ivo Belet, a Belgian member who steered the legislation through the 27-nation EU assembly in Strasbourg, as saying on Tuesday.

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