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North Sea Oil Installations (Safety)

Volume 892: debated on Friday 23 May 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether he is satisfied with the present safety provisions in case of industrial accidents on North Sea oil installations; what new powers of supervision he proposes; and if he will make a statement.

All licensees operating on the United Kingdom Continental Shelf are required, under conditions attached to their exploration or production licences, to conduct all their operations in a workmanlike manner in accordance with good oilfield practice and to comply with instructions issued by the Department for securing the safety, health and welfare of persons employed in those operations.A comprehensive code of regulations is being introduced under the Mineral Workings (Offshore Installations) Act 1971 covering the safety, health and welfare of such persons, the safety of the installations and operations carried out on or near them. The conduct of day-to-day operations and the health and safety of persons engaged in those operations are to be covered by regulations currently being drafted and all United Kingdom operators are working to the standards set out in the draft.The conditions of the licences and the provisions of the regulations are enforced by inspectors of the Petroleum Engineering Directorate of the Department who visit such installations regularly during the course of the year. They make inquiries into incidents that are reported, so as to see that the rules are being observed and consider improvements in the regulations or the procedures adopted to carry them out. But offshore oil exploration and production is being conducted in a hazardous environment and under conditions which have stretched technology to its known limits. It is worth recalling that we are the first country undertaking operations in

(Million tons)
Undistributed stock
DateTotal (1)Anthracite (2)Suitable for power stationsStocks held at power stations
17th May 19755·41·82·214·8
23rd November 19745·22·51·813·6
25th May 19746·93·32·69·9
(1) Total NCB stocks excluding inferior coal, wagon and bunker stocks.
(2) Includes anthracite duff