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New EU environmental impact assessment rules set to trigger more competitiveness & growth

Published:  14 March, 2014

The recent European Parliament vote on new environmental impact assessment rules is a step forward in making Europe more competitive without compromising on the environment, the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (OGP) said.

Roland Festor, OGP’s director for EU affairs commented: “While not imposing unnecessary requirements on the upstream oil & gas industry, the new rules will guarantee that any development, including exploration for shale gas, will be subject to strict environmental standards.”

The new rules confirmed the existing differentiation between exploration and production of hydrocarbons. It will ensure 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.

The International Association of OPG said 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.

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