Report EU Energy Commissioner to Issue Oil Spill Rules

EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger plans to issue additional requirements for operators of oil platforms in European waters in the autumn, he said in a German media interview published on Friday.

The requirements would include recommendations for prevention and compensation to help the bloc manage oil spill risks following the BP oil well in the Gulf of Mexico, he said in the Frankfurter Rundschau daily.

“Every oil exploring company operating here must have the necessary credit rating and capital strength to pay for all damage caused by it to humans and nature in a worst case scenario,” he said.

Oettinger also said a comprehensive liability insurance model might be a consideration, perhaps similar to the funds that nuclear power station operators must build for potential accidents.
Those have certain tax waivers tied to them which Oettinger said would be borne in mind when thinking up new models for oil.

His considerations at EU level come 10 weeks into efforts to clean up and contain BP’s ruptured deep-sea oil well, which continues to gush oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

The spill has caused an environmental and economic disaster along the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Investors have seen billions of dollars wiped off the value of BP shares and concerns are growing in investment communities that oil and gas majors may not be the reliable blue chips delivering steady dividends they have been seen as in the past.

(Reporting by Vera Eckert; editing by Keiron Henderson)