The directive 2013/30/EU introduces clear rules for effective prevention and response in case of a serious accident. The regulatory authority in each Member State will have to ensure that only those operators that can demonstrate the technical and financial capacities necessary to guarantee the safety of offshore activities and the protection of the environment can explore and produce oil and gas in the waters of the European Union, increasing citizen participation in administrative authorization procedures.
The competent national authorities responsible for the safety of the facilities shall verify the safety conditions, environmental protection and the condition of the oil platforms and the operations carried out in them. If the companies do not comply with the minimum standards, Member States may adopt the appropriate measures and / or impose fines; In the latter case, operators may be forced to suspend exploratory drilling or production operations.
In addition, companies will have to prepare a report with a comprehensive calculation of potential risks, measures and an emergency response plan before the exploration or production begins. Operators will have to look for an independent opinion for the most important security systems and prepare plans before and after the installation has started operating.
Transparency is fundamental, so information must be available so that citizens can compare the operation of the industry and the activities of national authorities. Operators must send reports on serious accidents in which they have been involved occurred outside the European Union to be taken into account as a case study.
The companies will prepare emergency response plans and plans based on their risk assessment on the platform and maintain availability of resources if necessary. The plans will be periodically tested by the industry and by the national authorities.
The oil and gas companies will be fully responsible for the damage caused to marine protected species and their natural habitats. For damage to waters, the geographical area will be extended to cover all marine waters including the economic area (about 370 km from the coast) and the continental strip where the Member States have jurisdiction. For damage to waters, the legal framework in force in the EU covers only territorial waters (about 22 km to the sea).