Maritime NZ has published guidelines regarding a major increase in required insurance cover for marine oil spills from offshore installations.
According to a statement from the government agency, amendments to the Marine Protection Rules Part 102 now require owners of offshore installations to have insurance or another form of financial security from a third party of up to $1.2 billion. This is an increase from approximately $28 million.
This is on top of the unlimited liability imposed by the Maritime Transport Act for spill response costs and compensation for pollution damage to property, said Maritime NZ director Keith Manch.
Marine Protection Rules Parts 131 and 102 regulate offshore installations. These rules require oil firms to have an oil spill contingency plan and financial cover for the costs of clean-up and damage to property.
Part 131 requires an offshore installation operating in New Zealand continental waters, and in the internal waters of New Zealand, to have an oil spill contingency plan approved by the Maritime NZ director. This plan will support an efficient and effective response to an oil spill at sea. The amendments to Part 131 say that the director must be satisfied that the operator will have the ability to implement the oil spill contingency plan before giving their approval.