A leading politician has intervened in an effort to prevent the European Commission from limiting emissions from the UK’s oil and gas industry.
The commission has proposed the medium-sized combustion plant directive, which would limit the emissions produced by medium-sized engines and generators – integral to every offshore oil platform.
Dr Ian Duncan MEP, the Conservative Party’s energy spokesman in the European Parliament, has tabled an amendment in the parliament’s Environment Committee that would mean the directive will not apply to the UK’s 194 offshore installations.
Dr Duncan commented: “I am all for reducing emissions but what the European Commission has failed to consider is that their latest plans would have a disproportionate impact on oil rigs. The commission want to force platforms to fit large, heavy and expensive new equipment on their generators. Anyone who has been on an oil rig will tell you that more space and extra weight are the two things you simply don’t have.
“At a time of falling oil prices and job losses, these plans are not going to encourage the industry to keep pumping oil in the North Sea and will lead to faster decommissioning.
“They are also unnecessary given that the British Government already has world-leading emissions rules with which the rigs have to comply. I hope my colleagues on the Environment Committee will support my plan and help protect an industry already enduring challenging times.”
By Stephen Walsh