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Memorandum From Research Councils UK for the Energy and Climate Change Committee Inquiry into UK Deepwater Drilling - Implications of the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill


Citation RCUK, NERC, ESRC and UKERC Memorandum From Research Councils UK for the Energy and Climate Change Committee Inquiry into UK Deepwater Drilling - Implications of the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill. 2010.
Author(s) RCUK, NERC, ESRC and UKERC
Download NERC_UKERC_response__Energy__Climate_Change_Committee_inquiry_UK_deepwater_drilling_implications_Gulf_of_Mexico_oil_spill.pdf document type
Abstract

The west of Shetland region is physically a very different environment to the Gulf of Mexico, so environmental impact of a deep water spill in this area would be different, in many aspects.

A regulatory system could be enacted to compel companies to develop a shareddeep-water rapid response system to cap wells, and the levels of insurance cover companies are obliged to have could be increased.

The UKs regulatory system is robust but could be improved, though there is a limit to which increased regulation can be implemented and effective.

Scenarios which may reduce the need to exploit deepwater reserves during the transition to a low carbon economy are discussed. However, given our current reliance on oil and gas, such exploitation may be necessary.

Under free market regulations the contribution of deepwater reserves to security of supply may be limited, though there may be some economic benefits of exploitation