Offshore Industry Committee 2021

17 March 2021

OSPAR’s Offshore Industry Committee (OIC) met online from 9-11 March 2021. Saravanan Marappan (United Kingdom) chaired a fruitful meeting. Plans were made for the preparation of OIC’s overall and thematic assessments which will feed into the QSR 2023. An ICG will be working during the 2021-2022 cycle to finalise both assessments reflecting the impacts of the offshore oil and gas industry on the marine environment in the last decade.

Regarding OSPAR’s 2030 Strategy, OIC tasks feeding into the implementation plan were identified for further development including prepration of few corresponding task templates for OSPAR 2021.

Discussions were held on the recommendations from ICG-REACH on harmonisation of OSPAR Harmonised Mandatory Control System (HMCS) and the REACH Regulation. OIC decided to remove ethanol from the OSPAR List of Substances/Preparations Used and Discharged Offshore which are Considered to Pose Little or No Risk to the Environment (PLONOR). The meeting agreed on a consolidated Agreement on the Guidance for assessment of the toxicity of substances used and discharged offshore and to update the OSPAR Agreement 2012-5 on the Guidelines for Completing the Harmonised Offshore Chemical Notification Format.

The meeting agreed amendments to OSPAR Recommendation 2003/5 to Promote the Use and Implementation of Environmental Management Systems by the Offshore Industry and to OSPAR Agreement 2012/7 on the Guidelines in support of Recommendation 2012/5 for a Risk-based Approach (RBA) to the Management of Produced Water Discharges from Offshore Installations.

OIC strategic issues such as carbon capture and storage (CCS) and decommissioning were covered. An overview of CCS projects in the North-East Atlantic was presented by Contracting Parties and the industry (IOGP). OIC agreed to work on reviewing existing reporting requirements on environmental monitoring from CCS projects. An update was given on the advancement of decommissioning technologies for removal of offshore installations to deal with those derogation categories listed in Annex I of Decision 98/3.

OIC said goodbye to Kurt Machetanz (Germany), Thomas Collette (the Netherlands), Wendy Brown (IOGP) and Jo Foden (Secretariat). They were all thanked for their contributions and engagement.