In the UK sector of the North Sea, there is a clearly defined regulatory regime controlling the decommissioning of offshore oil and gas installations. Under the Petroleum Act 1998, as amended by the Energy Act 2008, it is a requirement to decommission offshore facilities at the end of their producing life. Operators have to submit detailed programmes for the decommissioning of offshore installations and pipelines which are considered on a case-by-case basis by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), which is responsible for ensuring compliance with the Petroleum Act. Guidance Notes have been issued by BEIS and can be viewed by clicking on the logo opposite.
The UK’s international obligations on decommissioning are governed principally by the 1992 Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North East Atlantic (OSPAR Convention). BEIS is the competent authority on decommissioning in the UK for OSPAR purposes. In July 1998, the OSPAR Commission adopted a binding Decision (OSPAR Decision 98/3) to ban the disposal of offshore installations at sea.
For more information on BEIS & OSPAR, click the logos opposite.