asked the Secretary of State for Energy if, before any drilling for oil takes place in the South-West sea areas, he will take steps to ensure that adequate arrangements for fire-fighting equipment and repair facilities at sea are provided by the companies drilling for oil.
Every operator on the United Kingdom Continental Shelf must provide such emergency and other facilities as is necessary to ensure the safety of his operations. Inspectors of the Department of Energy Petroleum Engineering Division monitor operators' arrangements closely to ensure that these requirements are met. They will continue to do so, both in the South-West sea areas and elsewhere on the Continental Shelf.
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what further steps he has taken to re-examine, in the light of the Ekofisk blow-out, United Kingdom arrangements for dealing with North Sea accidents.
, pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 27th April 1977; Vol. 930, c. 328–9], gave the following information:I can now announce that the study group has completed the first part of its task by compiling a log of departmental responses. Copies are available in the Library. The log shows that the Departments primarily concerned received news of, and reacted to the blow-out, promptly and effectively. The study group is continuing with the second part of its task in reviewing the implications for the United Kingdom national interest offshore.