UK will not follow US and ban deep sea oil drilling
The Government has announced it will not impose a ban on deepwater oil drilling off the Shetland Islands, despite the events of the major oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Environmental campaigners have been pressing the UK to introduce a moratorium on deep sea drilling like the one imposed in the US in the wake of the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf.
The measures come as oil giant BP wants to drill to depths of 4,265ft in a field 60 miles west of the Shetland Isles – an operation which is expected to commence in October.
However, the Department for Energy and Climate Change have said such measures are not essential.
A spokesperson for the Department said: “We will not consent to the drilling of any well unless we are convinced that it is designed to the very highest standards, that the equipment used is fully tested and that the people working on the well are fully trained.”
The announcement was met with criticism from Greenpeace, who believes “a Gulf-style blow-out off Scotland’s coast would wreak havoc to fragile habitats and biodiversity, but also to the UK’s economic recovery.”
The explosion on BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig on 20 April took the lives of 11 workers and two days later, oil began to leak into the Gulf of Mexico.
The explosion led to around 184 million gallons of oil pouring into the Gulf, which caused devastation across several US states and has been described as the worst environmental disaster in US history.
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