TRAINING COURSE | Second Training Course on Offshore common standards and guidelines – Nov 23, 2023


The study on trends and outlook of marine pollution, maritime traffic, and offshore activities in the Mediterranean, REMPEC 2021, shows a clear and marked increase of trends in the offshore gas production 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.

A Training Course was organised by Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC), on ''Common Standards and Guidance on the Disposal of Oil and Oily Mixtures and the Use and Disposal of Drilling Fluids and Cuttings, and on Guidelines related to the Use and Discharge of Harmful or Noxious Substances and Materials, including Chemical use plan for Offshore operations.’’ on 7-8th November 2023, held at REMPEC premises in Malta. The common standards and guidance were adopted in 2019 by the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention, in line with the Mediterranean Offshore Action Plan (MOAP), while Guidelines related to the Use and Discharge of Harmful or Noxious Substances and Materials will have to be developed in a near future according to the MOAP and to the conclusions & recommendations of the fourth OFOG meeting held in May 2023.

The Course was financed with the support of the Mediterranean Trust Fund (MTF), pursuant to the Programme of Work and Budget for 2022-2023 of the Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP) of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

The principal objectives of the Training course were to:

  • Provide further understanding on the adopted Guidelines for the “Disposal of Oil and Oily Mixtures and the Use and Disposal of Drilling Fluids and Cuttings” and their practical implications;
  • Provide further understanding on the “Use and Discharge of Harmful or Noxious Substances and Materials” for the future development of Guidelines (to be defined according to the MOAP);
  • Provide further understanding of a “Chemical use plan” and related plans linked with the implementations of those regional Guidelines.

The session was attended by twenty-three (23) representatives from 14 Mediterranean coastal States and was delivered with contribution of representatives from countries of the OSPAR Commission and representatives of the Offshore industry through the International Oil and Gas Producers Association (IOGP), an accredited MAP Partner.  This was the second of a series of workshops on adopted common standards and guidance.  

The Training was well received and the participants expressed appreciation to the experts for sharing their knowledge and recognized the added value of the sharing of experience and expertise. The Training also highlighted the need for the OFOG to continue to provide a forum for the exchange of technical information and best practices related to offshore exploration. Similarly the need to develop the next phase of Mediterranean Offshore Action Plan for the period 2024 to 2034 was strongly emphasized, but this is still subject to agreement by COP 23 of the Barcelona Convention.

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