When a government responds to one of the worst oil spills in its waters for a decade by appointing the former Chairman of Shell to advise on cutting regulation of the offshore oil and gas industry, something has clearly gone wrong. If the government wants to ramp up extraction from deeper waters but is unwilling to police industry standards effectively, how will catastrophic disasters be prevented in UK waters? Who will hold oil companies to account, when our government fails to do so?
The Telegraph reports:
Charles Hendry, the energy minister, promised oil executives at Aberdeen’s annual Offshore Europe conference that they would be facing less regulatory oversight in years to come.
Mr Smith, the longtime head of Shell UK, who retired this year, will start gathering opinions in November from companies on how to cut regulation.
“You are not going to see more regulation,” Mr Hendry told delegates. “What we badly need is input from industry on how to reduce the burden of regulation. The approach of ticking boxes you see in other countries, that’s not the UK’s way of doing things.”