New financial rules on oil and gas exploration have come into effect with a warning from an environmental group that they will do little to prevent oil spills.
The insurance conditions, designed to make sure companies can demonstrate "financial responsibility" for drilling, will be rendered meaningless to wildlife caught up in any future accident, WWF Scotland said.
The UK Department of Energy and Climate Change ordered a review of regulations in light of the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.
The resulting Maitland Review was published in December 2011 with a number of recommendations, including on liability and insurance.
Announcing the Government response to the review last month, UK Energy Minister John Hayes said: "It is vital that our oil and gas activities meet the highest possible standards of safety and environmental protection.
"I am confident that the Government and industry responses to the independent panel's recommendations, alongside other ongoing work, will ensure that the UK's offshore oil and gas industry builds upon its existing high standards."
Lang Banks, of WWF Scotland, said: "While it's only right that oil and gas explorers should be forced to be insured to levels high enough to cover the costs of capping and clean-up, these new rules will do little to prevent future spills.
"Total's Elgin and Shell's Gannet Alpha platforms were all insured but it still didn't prevent accidents at those facilities.
"Any level of insurance cover is meaningless to the thousands of marine birds, mammals and other wildlife that would be wiped out by a single deepwater oil spill.
"The only way to prevent future spills and accidents is to end our addiction to oil, stop giving tax breaks to the oil industry and stop exploration for new oil and gas in dangerous deepwater locations."