Russia May Stiffen Requirements on Off-Shore Development in Wake of BP Spill

May 25, 2010
Russian Energy Minister Sergey Shmatko said he does not rule out stricter requirements on companies working on the Russian shelf in light of the huge oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico which has become one of the biggest environmental disasters in recent times, RIA-Novosti reports.
Speaking with journalists on May 24, Shmatko noted that the conditions on off-shore fields on the Russian shelf and in the Gulf of Mexico were different, but added, "It appears this should strengthen the accountability of Russian companies' working on the shelf. we understand that there must be experience in working in any case. We will discuss various criteria".
"We are working from the point of view that it is most likely requirements will be made more strict", Shmatko said.
The minister did not clarify what measures this would include, merely saying he meant experience, safety and the environment and not state ownership in a company. "We are looking very closely now at what is happening in there (in the Gulf of Mexico). Deputy Minister (Sergey)  Kudryashov is flying to America as part of our energy dialogue and those issues will be studied there", he said.
The Deepwater Horizon rig sunk in the Gulf of Mexico near the Louisiana coast on April 22 after a 36-hour fire following a large explosion. The oil spill which followed has already done damage to the states of Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi. The platform was owned by Transocean, which was conducting exploratory drilling under a contract with BP.
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