First online training workshop on offshore common standards and guidance – Dec 01, 2021

A recent study on trends and outlook of marine pollution, maritime traffic, and offshore activities in the Mediterranean prepared by REMPEC in collaboration with UNEP/MAP Secretariat, MEDPOL, SPA/RAC and Plan Bleu, shows that although oil production is characterised by a decreasing trend in the Mediterranean, the region plays a significant role in gas production at the global level. The trends in offshore gas production show a clear and marked increase since the 1980s. Hence, the importance of fostering a regional technical forum on oil and gas offshore activities sector, with the aim to enhance regional cooperation and ultimately reduce the environmental impacts on the Mediterranean coastal and marine ecosystems.

On Tuesday 30 November 2021, REMPEC organized the online training workshop on “The application of Common Standards and Guidance on the Disposal of Oil and Oily Mixtures and the Use and Disposal of Drilling Fluids and Cuttings”. These common standards and guidance were adopted in 2019 by the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention, in line with the Mediterranean Offshore Action Plan.

The session was attended by thirty (30) representatives from 11 Mediterranean coastal States, the private sector and other organizations, including participants from outside the Mediterranean region. This was the first of a series of online workshops on adopted common standards and guidance. Other trainings in the same series are expected to be delivered in 2022 and 2023. These include: Special Restrictions or Conditions for Specially Protected Areas (SPA), also endorsed by Contracting Parties; and the Guidelines for the Conduct of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) under consideration for adoption, next week, by the 22nd Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention (COP22).

Representatives of national competent authorities took the opportunity to share their experiences and best practices on the practical application of the guidance for the management of discharges from offshore platforms. A representative from the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic (OSPAR) and its Offshore Industrial Committee (OIC) talked about the extensive experience on the discharges from offshore sources in the North-East Atlantic area. To complete the picture, the International Association for Oil and Gas Producers (IOGP) provided a technical overview on the subject, from the operator’s perspective.

A set of recommendations, including the need for the Barcelona Convention Offshore Oil and Gas Group (OFOG) Sub-Group on the Environmental Impact to sustain the establishment of such fora on the exchange of technical best practices.

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Workshop report in English

Workshop report in French