New EU environmental Impact Assessment Rules

Yesterday the European Parliament vote on new environmental impact assessment rules of oil and conventional gas exploration, while at the same time rules for shale gas were excluded.

2014.03.13 - New EU environmental Impact Assessment Rules

The new rules confirmed the existing differentiation between exploration and production of hydrocarbons. It ensures that the requirements for environmental protection become more stringent as a project progresses. This way, time and resources will be applied where they matter: on full environmental studies once a project’s economic potential is confirmed and its development is going ahead.

Too many detailed requirements during the early phase of exploration – when commercial viability of a project is totally uncertain and operations limited – would have undermined key investments, without bringing any additional benefit to the environment.

Roland Festor, OGP’s director for EU affairs stated that the vote was a positive first step in enabling the assessment of domestic energy resources. Opportunities such as natural gas from shale must be explored and, if promising, will be crucial to encourage future economic growth and create new jobs.

The agreed text was approved by 528 votes to 135, with 15 abstentions. The Council of Ministers is to vote on the file in the coming weeks.

Source: OGP, Reuters

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