Towards an Offshore Drilling Ban in the European Union




LPN joins Surfrider Foundation Europe and 20 other European NGOs in calling on the European Commission to ban offshore drilling in Europe by 2035.





Towards a ban on offshore drilling in the European Union

On April 20, 2010, the explosion of Deepwater Horizon, the deepest offshore platform in the world, led to the largest oil spill in human history.

On April 20, 2020, 10 years later, Surfrider Foundation Europe, a European NGO dedicated to ocean protection, launched the #DrillingIsKilling campaign, which LPN joins, calling for a ban on offshore oil and gas exploration in Europe by 2035.



Offshore drilling is a disaster for the environment and the economy

All stages of offshore drilling - exploration, maintenance and decommissioning - have a dramatic and irreversible impact on ocean biodiversity, putting human lives and marine species in grave danger.

Some of the environmental risks are:

  • Oil spills: the Deepwater Horizon accident is not unique. In the past 30 years, humanity has faced more than 10 major offshore accidents, half of which led to oil spills;
  • Offshore exploration inevitably leads to hydrocarbon spills and water pollution caused by drilling mud, which contains benzene, zinc, arsenic, radioactive materials and other contaminants, with irreversible consequences;
  • Seismic testing preceding exploration has a huge impact on marine life, resulting in hearing loss, reduced catch rates of 40 to 80%, and strandings of several species.


The Deepwater Horizon explosion affected 400 species

and destroyed 3000m2 of coral reef.



Offshore drilling also threatens the lives and livelihoods of coastal communities. The European tourism and fishing industries employ 40 times more people than offshore oil and gas activities (2 570 000 vs. 63 000 people in 2017) and generate 5 times more added value (85 vs. 17 billion euros in 2017).

Given the upcoming revision of the Offshore Safety Directive 2013/30/EU, planned for 2020, Surfrider Foundation Europe, together with 21 European NGO partners, including LPN, call on the European Commission to ban offshore drilling by 2035.






It is imperative that the European Commission and its member states take a strict stance against offshore drilling:

  • By ceasing to approve new drilling permits for exploration by 2023;
  • Refusing to renew permits issued after they have expired, to achieve complete elimination by 2035;
  • Halting exploration activities in and around Marine Protected Areas to protect these ecosystems, crucial to the ocean's resilience;
  • Banning drilling in the icy Arctic waters of the European Union and the European Economic Area. The Arctic is an example of an area where the likelihood of an incident occurring is higher and the potential damage is worse because it is a vulnerable ecosystem with key species.



For more information, see:



to our Newsletter

If you wish to receive updated information about LPN, please enter your email:

© 2018 Liga para a Protecção da Natureza.

Powered by