Yearly intervention plans are produced for oil and gas operations based on the OPRED Inspection Strategy. Enforcement activities for the breach of environmental regulations is based on the OPRED Enforcement Policy.
The Offshore Safety Directive Regulator (OSDR), a collaboration between OPRED and the HSE, produces yearly intervention plans detailing planned inspections to be undertaken of oil and gas installations. The OPRED contingent of the ODR intervention plan is based on the OPRED Inspection Strategy.
The Offshore Environmental Inspectorate Team, Enforcement Policy applies to all offshore oil and gas installations operating in connection with the exploration, development or production of petroleum that come within the scope of the relevant environmental legislation. This includes production platforms, mobile drilling units, floating production and storage offtake vessels, pipelines, etc.
As part of its regulatory function OPRED undertakes a programme of planned inspections, both at operators and owners’ onshore offices and of offshore oil & gas installations, to ensure compliance with relevant Regulations and permit conditions. It is also to gain assurances that operations are undertaken with due consideration of environmental aspects and impacts and with effective controls to minimise the likelihood of releases to the environment.
Inspectors enforce the requirements on operators set out in statutory instruments (regulations) relevant to the protection of the offshore environment which include:
- The regulation, using Permits with conditions, of the activities of discharge and use of offshore chemicals, the discharge of oil, and emissions from qualifying offshore combustion installations;
- The prohibition on the release of offshore chemicals and oil; and
- The requirement for Licensed Operators to have an oil pollution emergency plan
The enforcement methods available to Inspectors are detailed in the relevant legislation and include: a warning letter, the serving of an Enforcement, Improvement or Prohibition Notice, revocation of a Permit and Prosecution. This Policy sets out the general principles that Inspectors shall follow in relation to enforcement including prosecution.
OPRED (BEIS)has a statutory obligation under the Environment and Safety Information Act 1988 to maintain a public register of certain Notices.
The Public Registers of Enforcement Activity are a new addition to OPRED(BEIS)’s Oil and Gas Website and have been introduced to bring this area in line with our policy on publication of data. The registers outline the formal Enforcement Activity undertaken by OPRED(BEIS) in respect of offshore oil and gas operations on the United Kingdom Continental Shelf (UKCS).
Under the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information, OPRED(BEIS) is committed to make available, on request, information about its actions and decisions, which includes information on formal Enforcement Activity.
The information provided within the registers will be subject to release and publication in accordance with the Freedom of Information (FOI) act 2000 and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR).
OPRED(BEIS) Enforcement Activity falls into four main categories; Letters, Enforcement/Improvement and Prohibition Notices, Permit Revocation, and Prosecution. The OPRED(BEIS) Public Register of Enforcement Improvement and Prohibition Notices and the OPRED(BEIS) Public Register of Convictions are available by clicking on the relevant link(s).
OPRED(BEIS)Public Registers of Enforcement Activity and Prohibition Notices
The OPRED(BEIS) Offshore Environmental Inspectorate enforces offshore oil and gas environmental regulations and permit conditions. On occasion OPRED(BEIS) may require offshore permit holders and/or licensed operators to make improvements by issuing them with a Notice; either an Enforcement Notice or Improvement Notice which allows time for the recipient to comply with prescribed conditions or a Prohibition Notice which prohibits an activity from occurring until remedial action has been taken.
An Enforcement Notice or an Improvement Notice may be issued where the Secretary of State is of the opinion that:
- any condition of a permit has been contravened, is being contravened or is likely to be contravened; or
- a release or a discharge without a permit has occurred , is occurring or is likely to occur
Each Enforcement Notice and Improvement Notice will identify the steps to be taken to remedy or prevent the contravention/release or discharge and will specify the period within which those steps must be taken.
A Prohibition Notice may be issued where the Secretary of State is of the opinion that the operation of an offshore installation involves an imminent risk of serious pollution. Each Prohibition Notice will specify the steps to be taken to remove the risk involved in the operation of the offshore installation before operations are allowed to be undertaken again.
The issue of an Enforcement Notice and/or a Prohibition Notice does not prevent other Enforcement Activity, such as Prosecution, being progressed if this is deemed appropriate.
The OPRED(BEIS) Public Register of Enforcement, Improvement and Prohibition Notices includes all notices issued in the last five years. Notices that are older than five years old are available on request. To account for the appeals process and quality assurance there is a 5 week period following the date of issue of a Notice prior to publication of the Notice details on this register. Where OPRED(BEIS) are notified of an appeal outside this time period, details of the Notice will be removed from the register. Notices that have been appealed will not appear on the register until after the appeal has been disposed.
Register of Enforcement and Prohibition Notices - (last updated 29/08/2017)
|Notice Number||Operator||Notice Type||Legislation||Issue Date|
|CNR International (U.K.) Limited||Enforcement||Regulation 13(1) of The Offshore Petroleum Activities (Oil Pollution Prevention and Control) Regulations 2005||20 June 2018|
|Bumi Armada UK Ltd||Enforcement||Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, Sections 21, 23 and 24||18 May 2018|
|Nexen Petroleum U.K. Limited||Enforcement||Regulation 13(1A) of The Offshore Petroleum Activities (Oil Pollution Prevention and Control) Regulations 2005||19 December 2017|
|ENI UK LTD Ltd||Enforcement||Regulation 13(1) of The Offshore Petroleum Activities (Oil Pollution Prevention and Control) Regulations 2005||19 July 2017|
|Statoil (U.K.) Limited||Enforcement||Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, Sections 21, 23 and 24||03 February 2017|
|BP Exploration Operating Company Limited||Enforcement||Offshore Petroleum Activities (Oil Pollution Prevention And Control) Regulations 2005||13 October 2016||Nexen Petroleum U.K. Limited||Enforcement||Regulation 13(1A) of The Offshore Petroleum Activities (Oil Pollution Prevention and Control) Regulations 2005||27 September 2016</tr>|
|Maersk Oil North Sea UK Limited||Enforcement||Regulation 25(1)(a)(i) of the Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases Regulations 2015||29 June 2016|
|Total E&P UK Ltd||Enforcement||Regulation 25(1)(a)(i) of the Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases Regulations 2015||29 June 2016|
|ENI Liverpool Bay Operating Company Ltd||Enforcement||Regulation 13(1A) of The Offshore Petroleum Activities (Oil Pollution Prevention and Control) Regulations 2005||24 June 2016|
|CNR International (U.K) Ltd||Enforcement||Regulation 13(1A) of the OPPC Regs 2005||13 November 2015|
|Marathon International Oil (GB) Limited||Enforcement||Regulation 16(1A) of the OCR Regs 2002||12 August 2015|
|Chevron North Sea Limited||Enforcement||Reg 3A of the OPPC regs 2005||12 November 2014|
|Britannia Operator Limited||Enforcement||Regulations 16A (1) & 16A (1A) of the OCR Regs 2002 as amended||03 September 2014|
OPRED(BEIS) Public Register of Convictions
This is a register of prosecution cases resulting in successful conviction which have been brought by OPRED(BEIS) against offshore permit holders and/or licensed operators in respect of the relevant environmental legislation administered. In general, Prosecutions are pursued where OPRED(BEIS) consider:
- the gravity of the alleged offence, taken together with the seriousness of any actual or potential pollution justifies this approach; or
- the general record and approach of the alleged offender warrants it; or
- there has been a reckless disregard of requirements enforced by the legislation.
The register includes Prosecutions brought by OPRED(BEIS) in the last five years. Details of ongoing Prosecution cases and any convictions subject to appeal will not be published. To account for the appeals process there is a delay of 9 weeks following conviction before a case is added to the register. Details of Prosecutions will appear on this register for a period of five years after which they are removed from the register and are available on request.
Register of Convictions
|Incident Report No.||Operator||Legislation|