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New UK Offshore Regulations Take Effect

Duty holder corporations must prepare a written corporate major accident prevention policy that establishes the overall goals and arrangements for controlling the risk of a major accident for its installations in external waters and outside the European Union.

Britain's Health & Safety Executive has posted a new guide to help operators of offshore oil and gas wells comply with the Offshore Installations (Offshore Safety Directive) (Safety Case etc.) Regulations 2015, known as SCR 2015, that took effect July 19. The guide is in draft form, and HSE noted it may be subject to further change when the final publication is produced.

The document explains the provisions in SCR 2015 and is addressed to those with duties, such as licensees, installation operators, installation owners, well operators, and others involved with offshore activities. SCR 2015 applies to oil and gas operations in external waters -- the territorial sea adjacent to Great Britain and any designated area within the United Kingdom continental shelf; the regulations replace the Offshore Installations (Safety Case) Regulations 2005 in these waters, subject to certain transitional arrangements.

Duty holder corporations must prepare a written corporate major accident prevention policy that establishes the overall goals and arrangements for controlling the risk of a major accident for its installations in external waters and outside the European Union. SCR 2015 says that an operator, in preparing a corporate major accident prevention policy, must take account of the operator's primary responsibility for, among other things, the control of risks of a major accident that are a result of the operator's operations and for continuously improving control of those risks so as to ensure a high level of protection at all times.

A duty holder also is required to prepare a document setting out its safety and environmental management system that includes the organizational structure, responsibilities, practices, procedures, processes, and resources for determining and implementing the corporate major accident prevention policy.

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