A new EU publication aims to improve protection of the environment by unifying a range of far-reaching hydrocarbon industry regulations, standards and guidance.
After four years of collaboration involving the EU Member States, Norway and industry, the European Commission has published Best available techniques guidance document on upstream hydrocarbon exploration and production. It can assist E&P regulators in the EU – particularly in newer operating regions – as they consider activities in accordance with established best practices.
The document identifies and consolidates best available techniques (BATs) as well as a range of environmental performance limits (EPLs) for 13 onshore and 10 offshore exploration and production activities, putting these standards in a European context.
IOGP led Industry’s involvement in the process – demonstrating a pro-active and constructive stance on issues such as drill cutting discharge, chemicals-handling, methane emissions and produced water. Technical experts from IOGP Member companies joined representatives from civil society in participating in key meetings chaired by the Commission.
“The hydrocarbons guidance process was at times challenging, but because of the support and input from our members, IOGP was able to secure a very positive outcome and strengthen the industry’s reputation in relation to regulators and the European Commission”, says Christian Schwarck, deputy director at IOGP EU. “This was the result of excellent cooperation within industry and with other key stakeholders, and we extend sincere thanks to those in our member companies who devoted significant time and effort towards achieving such a welcome outcome”.