The regulatory framework for oil companies in France

The regulatory framework for oil companies in France

In accordance with the provisions of the Mining Code, and in accordance with European regulations, the Government can grant companies the right to explore or produce hydrocarbons.  These are exploration permits (for exploration) or concessions (for production). 

The two essential texts relating to the constitution of mining claim files are: 

The competent authority takes into account the environmental, economic and social analysis to take the decision to grant or extend an exclusive exploration permit or the decision to grant, extend or extend a concession.

It is important to emphasize that the issuance of a mining title by the Minister of Mines does not authorize the holder to start drilling without the prior approval of the Department Prefect. 

Indeed, the purpose of the public inquiry procedure for the concession application is to collect, as soon as the title application is requested, the important points that the public wishes to make known and to see developed during the next work authorization applications.

The instruction of the mining title (consultation of the services and the military authority) also makes it possible to verify that the easements and constraints present on the surface of the title are well recorded or taken into account in the study of impact.

It is the responsibility of the future operator to take into consideration the remarks that will be made for the development work of the oil field.

Features of the SEVESO sites

What is a SEVESO site?

On July 10 1976, following the release of a chlorinated product production unit, a cloud of dioxin escaped from a plant located in MEDA in Italy (20 km north of Milan), and overflowed the neighboring village of SEVESO.

This event prompted a standardized consideration of industrial risk on a European scale. The European Community has therefore drafted the SEVESO directive, to develop a common policy for the prevention of major industrial risks. It was adopted on June 24 1982 and serves to identify risks associated with certain dangerous industrial activities, the means of prevention, and the measures necessary to cope with the occurrence of an accident.

The SEVESO II directive was adopted on December 9, 1996. It refines the consideration of industrial risk by introducing the principle of proportionality (2 types of establishments: SEVESO Threshold Low // SEVESO Threshold High).

From June 1 2015, the SEVESO III directive came into force, which introduced the CLP (Classification, Labeling, Packaging) regulation as a new classification system for substances and mixtures.

To learn more about the CLP regulatory system :

Vermilion's SEVESO sites in France

What does SEVESO III mean for Vermilion?

Although nothing has changed in the production and operation of our facilities, this new directive has reclassified some of the company’s facilities, and downgraded others. 

Today, Vermilion operates:

Classification between High threshold and Low threshold depends on the total amount of hazardous materials stored on the site.

The SEVESO ranking of the sites does not imply an upgrading of the facilities, but rather provides a legal and documentary framework: PPAM (Major Accident Prevention Policy), SMS (Safety Management System), revision of EDD (Hazard Assessment Studies).

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