EUROPE TO ENACT FIRST EU-WIDE OIL AND GAS LAW
The European Union agreed to its first law regulating safety in offshore oil and gas on Thursday, including criteria for awarding licenses and penalties for breaching safety standards. British politicians welcomed the law, saying it would force other states to enact the same laws Britain has had in place for years. But some environmental campaigners said that the law was not robust enough. Green members of the European parliament urged members not to approve the legislation because the measure did not close all gaps in safety regimes and it failed to call for a moratorium on drilling in "sensitive or extreme environments" like the Arctic. EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said that the rules will prevent repeats of recent accidents. "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. For the full story see http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/02/21/us-oil-drilling-safety-eu-idUKBRE91K0X720130221.