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North Sea Deepwater Drilling Rules Safe

March 22, 2011
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According to the Associated Press, the British government has given the thumbs up to its regulatory regime for deepwater drilling in the North Sea, despites concerns raised by a parliamentary committee following the Gulf of Mexico spill. The government said in its reponse to lawmakers on the Energy and Climate Committee on Tuesday that most of the issues raised are covered by existing laws or rules introduced after the Gulf spill, such as increased rig inspections. The committee had questioned whether North Sea drillers were prepared to deal with a deepwater incident like the BP PLC blowout in the Gulf. The government says existing rules are adequate but did agree to look into whether blowout preventers — the piece of equipment that failed in the Gulf — should be upgraded to include a failsafe device.

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