LONDON, December 16 /PRNewswire/ -- A new performance standard for critical offshore operations will help North Sea oil and gas drilling operators comply with tough new environmental requirements, Castrol Offshore said today.

Under rules set by the North-East Atlantic regulator, OSPAR, the range of the UK Offshore Chemical Notification scheme is being extended from 1st January 2009 to include all greases used to lubricate jack-up open gearing - that raise and lower platforms from and into the sea.

It means the impact of all greases will have to be established before use. Lubricants containing hazardous components may be excluded from use while many components used in existing greases will attract attention from the authorities.

Castrol Offshore - part of the BP Group - has responded by launching BioTac OG, an environmentally responsible grease developed specifically to lubricate the rack and pinion jacking mechanism of mobile rigs.

The product is being made available in different sizes and quantities to meet demand from operators looking to comply with the new OSPAR requirements.

We recognise that regulators are demanding greater environmental accountability in the North Sea, said Susannah Linington, Castrol Offshore's Environmental Specialist. This is evident with the focus on specific applications, such as the use of jacking greases for self-elevating rigs.

BioTac OG is part of the Castrol Offshore GreenField range, launched in 2008, including hydraulic fluids, gear oils, specialist lubricants, greases and subsea control fluids. All have been scientifically proven to have significantly reduced environmental impact compared with conventional products yet deliver superior technical performance.

Issued on behalf of the Castrol Offshore Press Office by Martin Clark.

For enquiries from journalists and researchers only, contact the Castrol Offshore Press Office on +44(0)1782-443080 or email .