The activities that goes on in the Barents Sea is strictly regulated trough national laws and regulations and trough international conventions agreements. The international agreements play a vigorous part in harmonising the regulation transverse the national regulation.
OSPAR (The convention for the Protection of the Marin Environment of the North-East Atlantic) is the current legal instrument guiding international cooperation on the protection of the marine environment of the North-East Atlantic. The Governments of 15 Contracting Parties and the European Commission takes part.
Decisions agreed upon by all contracting parties must be implemented in the legal framework in each country. The environmental agencies also seek to implement the recommendations.
Decisions and recommendations which restrict discharges and emissions from the offshore petroleum industry cover:
- environmental management systems ecotoxicological testing and evaluation of chemicals, and the use and reduction of the discharge of the chemicals
- the use of organic-phase drilling fluids (OPF) and the discharge of OPF-contaminated cuttings the management of produced water from offshore installations, including maximum oil content and an obligation to reduce the total amount of oil being discharged decommissioning of installations no longer in use reporting requirements. OSPAR do also work with different issues related to risk assessments, environmental monitoring, emissions to air and cutting piles on the sea bed.
Both Russia and Norway are member states in the arctic council together with Canada, Denmark (including Greenland and the Faroe Islands), Finland, Iceland, Sweden and the United States of America.
In 2007, The Arctic Council Oil and Gas Assessment)was finalized, the work being lead by AMAP (the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program). The document may be used as a balanced and reliable document for decision makers in support of sound future management of oil and gas activities in the Arctic.
The Offshore Oil and Gas Guidelines was updated in 2009. ere adopted by the Arctic Council in 2009. These guidelines are intended to be of use to the Arctic nations during planning, exploration, development, production and decommissioning of oil and gas activities.
The European Commission
In 2008, EU adopted the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. This directive constitutes the environmental component of the EUs Integrated Maritime Policy -- also called the Blue book. Both may have some impact on regulation of the offshore industry in the future.