UK offshore oil industry publishes 1999 data

Environmental report offers good news on some impacts; industry defends "Atlantic Margin" plans

The UK offshore oil and gas industry's third annual environmental report has shown improvements across a range of measures. The UK Offshore Operators' Association (UKOOA), concludes that the industry's environmental impact is "relatively light" but pledges continued efforts to reduce it further.

Following two previous reports, the first published in late 1998 (ENDS Daily 19 November 1998), UKOOA's latest environmental assessment records reductions in the number of accidental oil spills, the amount of oil in produced water and use of chemicals, as well as lower emissions of volatile organic compounds and methane. Little change is reported for carbon dioxide emissions, gas flaring or production of drill cuttings.

The report also profiles plans to produce oil and gas from deep-sea areas west of the Shetland Islands known as the "Atlantic Margin" or "Atlantic Frontier". UKOOA acknowledges that production could be limited in certain parts of this region due to extension of the scope of the EU habitats directive (ENDS Daily 26 October), but insists that commercial production can take place without "significant environmental impact".

Follow Up:
UKOOA, tel: +44 20 78 02 24 00.

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