The UK has announced plans to bring improvements in offshore inspections with an increase in the number of offshore environmental oil and gas inspectors.

The increase in staff will increase the number of offshore inspections conducted each year to 150 from 60, the number before the Gulf of Mexico spill, according to UK Energy Secretary Chris Huhne.

The boost will also enable annual environmental inspections of all manned fixed installations and at least 24 drilling rigs every year.

Inspections of deepwater and more complex projects will be undertaken by two inspectors rather than one.

Huhne said that the UK’s safety and environmental regime is one of the most robust in the world.

“But we are not complacent and more environmental inspections should provide further assurance that government and industry are alert and working hard to ensure that a spill like Macondo doesn’t happen in UK waters,” he said.

The UK Department of Energy and Climate Change has undertaken the inspections of oil and gas installations in addition to safety inspections carried out by the Health and Safety Executive.