Oil and gas – guidance

Oil and gas: environmental policy

Information and minutes for OSPAR, REACH and research groups and forums for offshore oil and gas.

Overview

From this page, you can access information and minutes with regards to the following stakeholder groups that were formed to feed into and help shape environmental policy:

  • OSPAR Offshore Industry Committee (OIC)
  • REACH Working Group - From the National Archive
  • Offshore Oil and Gas Environmental Research Programme
  • UK Offshore Forum

You can also visit DECC’s EU Environment Register, below, to find out about EU proposals for environmental legislation that have or may have impacts on the offshore oil/gas industry.

OSPAR Offshore Industry Committee (OIC)

OSPAR is the common name for the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North East Atlantic, to which the UK is one of 16 contracting parties.

The Offshore Activities Strategy emphasises the importance of a goal-setting approach to regulation and the use of internationally recognised environmental management systems (EMS). It is pursued within OSPAR by the OIC, which aims to:

  • identify pressures and their impact on the marine environment
  • assess the effectiveness of existing programmes and measures and the need and scope for further action
  • develop new programmes and measures
  • assess the implementation of programmes and measures by contracting parties

Visit the OSPAR Commission website for further information

OSPAR - Risk Based Approach For The Management Of Produced Water

The OSPAR Recommendation 2012/5 requires Contracting Parties to implement a risk-based approach (RBA) for the management of produced water (PW) discharges from offshore installations. General guidance relating to the Recommendation can be found in OSPAR Agreement 2012/7. Guidance for the United Kingdom Risk Based Approach Implementation Programme can be found below and included in Annex 1 and 2 are copies of the OSPAR Recommendation 2012/5 and OSPAR Agreement 2012/7. Please note Annex 3 ‘Table A3-1 RBA Implementation Schedule’ has not been updated and Operators should not be concerned if a previously approved amendment to the schedule is not reflected in the table.

PLEASE NOTE: It has been brought to the attention of the Department that Operators have been requesting component level information from their chemical suppliers as part of their RBA assessment. Component level information is commercially sensitive data, and is not required to undertake a standard RBA assessment. Following review of an RBA assessment report should the Department determine that a further assessment at the component level is required, then either Marine Scotland or Cefas will be requested to undertake that assessment on behalf of the Department

United Kingdom Risk Based Approach Implementation Programme

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Risk Based Approach Implementation Programme Progress

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Following the OSPAR Commission meeting in Cascais, the Commission published its background document on the ‘Establishment of a list of Predicted No Effect Concentrations (PNECs) for naturally occurring substances in produced water’ (OSPAR Agreement 2014/05). The new document supplements the information contained in Appendix 5 to the OSPAR Guidelines in support of Recommendation 2012/5 for a Risk-based Approach to the Management of Produced Water Discharges from Offshore Installations (OSPAR Agreement 2012/7). A copy of the new publication (OSPAR Agreement 2014/05) can be found below and the United Kingdom Risk Based Approach Implementation Programme guidance has been amended to take account of the OSPAR publication, and to incorporate a number of additional minor changes.

OSPAR RBA Predicted No Effect Concentrations (PNECs) Background Document

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Offshore oil and gas environmental research programme

This programme is now closed, but download the inventory below for an overview of completed projects supported by the programme and associated reports.

Offshore Oil and Gas Environmental Research Programme funded projects

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UK Offshore Forum

This was a tripartite forum that brought together government, the offshore oil and gas industry and environmental non-governmental organisations to consider environmental issues connected with oil and gas activities.

Visit the National Archives for minutes of UK Offshore Forum meetings that took place between 1999 and 2009

EU Environmental Issues Register

The EU Environmental Issues Register provides an overview of EU proposals for environmental legislation that have or may have impacts on the offshore oil/gas industry.

Visit the National Archives to see older editions of the EU Environmental Issues Register.