Offshore HSE Regulations: The New Paradigm in the Mediterranean Sea and its Practical Consequences

Garland, E. (Total EP)



The Offshore Protocol of the Barcelona Convention for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea entered into force in 2011. In addition, since 2007, the European Union (EU) has adopted many measures impacting the upstream Oil and Gas (O&G) industry. To list a few: REACH (Registration Evaluation Authorization Chemicals), its Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD - 2008), the Offshore Safety Directive (2013), the Marine Spatial Planning Directive (MSP - 2014), etc. It also revised its Environmental Impact Assessment Directive (EIA - 2014) and is in the process of revising its Environmental Liability Directive (ELD).

This unremitting legislative process slowly but deeply impacts the O&G industry. On the forefront, what is at stake is the access to new prospects and planned developments. But this also impacts operators of existing facilities, who have to adapt to new constraints. In many countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea the administrative processes have changed – or need to change – dramatically in order to cope with the new requirements and that might increase the bureaucracy or generate delays. But the changes also provide opportunities for the industry to improve their overall Health, Safety and Environment performance and demonstrate their commitment towards sustainable development, in a safe manner and respectful of the environment, taking into account the other legitimate users of the sea.

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