UK Energy and Climate Change Secretary Edward Davey welcome the move, and the fact that it came as a directive rather than a regulation, which would have superseded national law.
“From the outset we have strongly argued that forcing the UK to rip up decades’ worth of legislation and guidance would have been counterproductive to the EU’s objectives,” Davey said.
“The UK will look to use and build upon these new powers to ensure we have an offshore oil and gas regime that continues to be regarded by the industry as one of the best in the world,” he added.
The European Parliament in Strasbourg voted to back the directive last month.
The rules aim to prevent spills and safety incidents in the union’s offshore sectors of the North Sea, the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea as part of a drive to beef up European rules in the wake of the Macondo disaster.
A long-running campaign by offshore-producing nations led to a climb-down by the European Commission over its original proposals for rules in the form of a regulation, which would not have given countries with existing safety regimes leeway on how to introduce the legislation.
*Bill Lehane, Upstreamonline