Leaked documents have surfaced revealing the UK government’s plan to change the proposals against Arctic deep sea drilling operations. The environmentalists are very angry about the UK’s plans since deep sea drilling could potentially harm the pristine Arctic Ocean.
The UK government plans to also lift any moratoriums filed against companies drilling in the area. There are many who fear that the UK’s government’s decision will do nothing to prevent oil spills in the Arctic. There are no measures protecting against an oil spill emergency response delay. This means is that it may take time for the companies to clean up the oil spill which may further produce damage in the environment.
An emergency oil clean up delay was what caused the environmental damage in the Gulf of Mexico during the BP oil spill. Should the same delays in response time be observed in the Arctic, then it will do nothing to prevent further damage in the area which may also affect Greenland.
UK had insisted on removing a clause in the proposal related to making companies liable for any delay in their oil spill clean up response. The original clause called for an oil drilling ban on countries which have a gap in their oil clean up response. The UK government is suggesting that allowing the oil spill to remain there for days after an accident may be more appropriate. The UK however is calling for stricter standards in oil drilling and maximal environmental protection standards.
Environmental groups are concerned that measures to protect the environment are not enough. These groups however believe that the UK government is siding with oil companies such as Shell. The grounding of Shell’s Kulluk rig has done nothing to allay fears that there are adequate safety standards.
Shell has announced they follow safety standards and has over 50 years experience in oil drilling. As of now, Shell is still waiting for the US findings and can’t explain what happened in their Kulluk rig.