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Environmental Impact Assessment (North Sea)

Volume 400: debated on Monday 3 March 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what environmental impact assessment process is in place in respect of oil and gas exploration and production activities in the North Sea. [99795]

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) became a formal requirement for all offshore oil and gas activities in March 1999, following the introduction of the Offshore Petroleum Production and Pipe-lines (Assessment of Environmental Effects) Regulations 1999. All new developments, and significant exploration and production activities that could have an adverse impact in the receiving environment, require a full EIA that includes consultation with statutory bodies and a period of public notice. Other activities are also assessed to confirm that a full EIA is not required. Activities are additionally considered under the Offshore Petroleum Activities (Conservation of Habitats) Regulations 2001.