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EU oil, gas rules get vote of confidence

Feb. 25, 2013 at 7:04 AM

BRUSSELS, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Proposed rules for offshore oil and gas operations in European waters will ensure the region has standards in place for safe operations, a commissioner said.

EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said he welcomed recent safety proposals for offshore oil and natural gas operations.

"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," he said in a statement. "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."

The European Union proposed rules that would require oil and natural gas companies to submit emergency response plans and potential hazard reports before they can get a license to drill offshore.

The proposed legislation would require energy companies to provide evidence that they have the means to cover any potential liability related to offshore oil and gas operations.

The measure goes before an EU energy committee for a vote next month.

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