In 2015 EOSCA celebrated 25 years of the successful regulatory collaboration. Since its formation in 1990 EOSCA has built and maintained strong working relations with key contacts in the oilfield regulatory arena. The formation of an offshore chemical suppliers’ industry group came about through increasing regulatory requirements for approval of offshore chemicals and drilling muds the late 1980’s.
EOSCA have built strong links with many stakeholders, and our regulatory collaboration involves many government and technical groups, including:
- The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BIES), the UK regulator within which the Environmental Management Team operate.
- UK Chemical Working Group (CWG) a discussion group which includes operators, industry and regulators, chaired by Marine Scotland, and for which EOSCA offers secretarial services.
- Cefas act as technical support for BIES and the HMCS, the Offshore Chemical Notification Scheme team (OCNS) assist management of chemical use and discharge for the UK and Netherlands offshore petroleum industries.
- Marine Scotland are statutory consultees for chemical permitting in the offshore industry in the UK and feed into regulatory decisions.
- The State Supervision of Mines (Staatstoezicht op de Mijnen, SodM) is the regulator that oversees compliance with offshore regulations.
- The Netherlands Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Association (NOGEPA) represent the interests of businesses with licences to explore for or produce oil and gas in the Netherlands, and support environment standards in the industry.
- Cefas also act as technical support in The Netherlands assisting with chemical approvals.
- The Norwegian Environment Agency (Miljødirektoratet, NEA), are the regulatory department that are responsible for the environmental impact of oil and gas exploration and production operations in Norway.
- SKIM (Samarbeidsforum offshorekjemikalier, industry og myndigheter), the “Industry and Authorities Working group for offshore chemicals” upon which EOSCA has a number of representatives.
- add energy who provide the NEMS Chemicals service in Norway. This is an environmental management database in which the confidential component data for offshore chemicals are stored, to allow the operators to assess the hazards and risks of the products they use.
- OSPAR Offshore Industries Committee (OIC), within which EOSCA is recognised as an official observer, and has contributed positions and responses to papers submitted to the annual meetings.
- The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), with whom EOSCA has responded to a number of consultations, and is engaged with various work areas of relevance such as Use Maps.
- The European Commission, with whom EOSCA are recognised stakeholders, and are part of the High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing Task Force, who produced a Specific Environmental Release Category (SpERC) document and are members of the Hydrocarbon BREF working group.
In a paper presented by the current EOSCA Chair, Ian Still, to the Chemicals in the Oil Industry symposium in 2015 (more info can be found here), the question was posed as to whether EOSCA can still be relevant in the industry. It was concluded that concerns such as data ownership, use of supplier data, and efficient and effective regulation, which lead to the formation of EOSCA back in 1990, still exist today. The recent phase-in of the EU REACH Regulation has highlighted how information can be made publicly available whilst safeguarding data ownership, and development in the use of this data can lead to more efficient and effective regulation.
Find out more About EOSCA.