Offshore Drilling : call on your MEPs!


Today, on April 20, 2020, we commemorate the 10th anniversary of the largest oil spill in history. In 2010, the explosion of Deepwater Horizon, the deepest offshore well in the world, released 500 million litres of oil into the ocean impacting more than 400 marine species and destroying nearly 3,000 m2 of coral colonies. The tragic accident claimed the lives of 11 people. Today, despite the risks, 14 European countries continue to allow offshore drilling in EU waters. This anniversary is a unique opportunity to asses the dangers of this activity.

Surfrider Europe launches a platform to prevent drilling at sea

Surfrider Foundation Europe and all the signatories of the Manifesto "Toward an EU offshore drilling ban", launched today, are calling on the European Union and its Member States to : 

    → Stop approving new drilling permits both for exploration and exploitation by 2023.   

    → Refuse renewals on issued authorizations after their expiration date in order to reach a complete phase-out by 2035.

    → Stop exploitation and exploration activities in and around Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).

    → Stop offshore drilling in the EU and the EEA Arctic waters.

Help us take the message to the highest European level by calling on your MEPs : 

I act now


A threat to biodiversity and water quality

Upstream, before investing in the site, companies use seismic surveys as part of the exploration phase. These surveys are extremely harmful: the noise emitted deafens marine mammals and causes increased beach strandings, while having an additional impact on fish and plankton.  

Secondly, drilling at sea represents a great risk of gas and oil spills. The Elgin leak in 2012, for example, released nearly 6,000 tonnes of gas into the ocean continuously for 7 weeks, generating a slick more than 11km long. 

In addition, the daily release of toxic substances pollutes the waters. In particular, liquid sludge containing arsenic, mercury and radioactive materials has irreversible consequences for the environment. 

Finally, when oil and gas platforms are not properly dismantled, they become marine waste, leaving behind thousands of tons of contaminated water, the concrete bases and parts of metal structures.

Drilling in vulnerable zones