North Sea compromise

The European Commission’s decision last week to include North Sea operators under the law on working hours may not restrict offshore operations as first feared. The UK Offshore Operators’ Association, which represents the North Sea oil companies, said it was disappointed by the decision to end the exclusion, but nevertheless saw some `helpful’ proposals. Bryan […]

The European Commission’s decision last week to include North Sea operators under the law on working hours may not restrict offshore operations as first feared.

The UK Offshore Operators’ Association, which represents the North Sea oil companies, said it was disappointed by the decision to end the exclusion, but nevertheless saw some `helpful’ proposals.

Bryan Taylor, UKOOA’s technical director, said the suggestion that North Sea workers could be categorised as a `mobile workforce’ would treat the industry as a special case.

`It does seem to recognise that there are unique features of our industry’ said Taylor.

The UKOOA and other industry representatives will discuss the proposals with EU officials over the next few weeks before the commission draws up a draft directive for the European Parliament to approve.