"It is vital that our oil and gas activities meet the highest possible standards of safety and environmental protection,"
"I am confident that the government and industry responses to the independent panel's recommendations, alongside other ongoing work, will ensure that the UK's offshore oil and gas industry builds upon its existing high standards."
A new senior oversight group, incoporating the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), the Health and Safety Executive and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, will now supervise the implementation of the recommendations.
The changes recommended include new guidelines for improved management systems designed to give assurance safety and environmental plans are implemented robustly, new DECC guidance on how firms drilling in the North Sea must demonstrate they have the financial capability to respond to an incident, and an increase in the frequency of emergency response exercises from every five years to every three.
Furthermore, key equipment comes under the new guidance to ensure the industry maintains this in good repair. The government also ruled that the pan-industry forum set up to share best practices for well management and design in the wake of the Gulf disaster will remain in place permanently.
"As chair of the review I am very pleased to see the substantial progress made on so many of the recommendations and that others continue to be worked on with timeframes for delivery in place," said Professor Maitland. "This positive progress demonstrates industry and the regulators' commitment to continuous improvement that puts safety and environmental protection at the heart of the industry."
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