§ Mr. Gareth Wardell
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he has any plans to require all oil companies to deposit a bond with his Department that can be immediately used to finance clean-up operations in the event of an oil spillage around the British coast.
§ Mr. Peter Morrison
Primary responsibility for clean-up, following an oil spill from an offshore installation, rests with the operator. To ensure that operators have sufficient funds available to discharge any liability attributable to such an incident, the offshore pollution liability agreement (OPOL) was set up by the oil industry in 1975 at the request of the Department of Energy. This agreement ensures that funds are available, up to $60 million per incident, to meet claims for remedial measures and pollution damage from an offshore oil spill incident.