Petroleum (Exploration and Extraction) Safety Act 2015

Competent authority

3. The following is inserted after section 13G (inserted by the Act of 2010) of the Act of 1999:

“13GA. (1) The Commission is appointed as the competent authority in the State for the purposes of Article 8 of the Directive.

(2) The principal objective of the Commission in exercising its functions as competent authority is the effective safety regulatory oversight of operator and owner compliance with this Part in reducing the risk and potential consequences (including major environmental incidents) of major accidents offshore to a level that is as low as is reasonably practicable.

(3) The Commission shall—

(a) monitor and enforce compliance by operators and owners with their obligations under this Part with respect to safety;

(b) regularly exchange knowledge, information and experience with other competent authorities in other Member States, inter alia, through the European Union Offshore Oil and Gas Authorities Group;

(c) prepare and submit an annual report to the European Commission;

(d) co-operate with other competent authorities and contact points under Article 27 of the Directive;

(e) establish mechanisms for—

(i) the confidential reporting of safety and environmental concerns relating to offshore designated petroleum activities from any source, and

(ii) the appropriate investigation of such reports while maintaining the anonymity of the individuals concerned;

(f) prepare and send to the European Commission a report of the summary findings of any investigation of petroleum incidents which resulted in an offshore major accident, at the conclusion of the investigation or at the conclusion of the legal proceedings with respect to the petroleum incident as appropriate;

(g) operate in accordance with the requirements of this Act and Annex III to the Directive.

(4) Where the Commission considers that a major accident hazard relating to designated petroleum activities to be carried out offshore is likely to have significant effects on the environment in another Member State, the Commission shall, prior to making its decision under section 13P(1) to accept a safety case or a revised safety case, forward the relevant information to the competent authority of the potentially affected Member State. The Commission shall endeavour, jointly with the competent authority of that Member State, to adopt measures to prevent damage without prejudice to its regulatory functions.

(5) The Commission may—

(a) advise the Minister on matters relating to the functions and obligations of the competent authority;

(b) request a petroleum undertaking, operator or owner to provide a report on the circumstances of any major accident in which they have been involved, either themselves or through subsidiaries outside of the European Union. The report shall be in such form, provided in such timeframe, and accompanied by such additional information and particulars as may be determined by the Commission.”.