Decomm planning guidance released by Oil and Gas UK subsidiary

About 100 platforms and 4,600 miles of pipeline are expected to be removed from the North Sea over the next 10 years.
Maersk workers begin Janice decommissioning work

Industry workgroup Common Data Access (CDA) has issued new guidance to help operators plan decommissioning work more effectively.

A subsidiary of Oil and Gas UK, CDA provide shared services for the management of UKCS well and seismic data.

The data firm have worked in conjunction with Shell Brent Decommissioning Project and the School of Law at the University of Aberdeen to devise and create the planning guidance.

CDA claim that they have created the first publicly available records retention schedule for use in oil and gas decommissioning, ‘helping operators determine what information must be retained after an offshore installation has been removed from the field’.

Daniel Brown, manager, CDA Projects, said: “Over the 40-plus year lifespan of an offshore asset, many thousands of boxes of physical records, and millions of electronic files are created.

“Once the asset is removed to be dismantled, many of the records associated with it are no longer required – but deciding what must be retained, and what may lawfully be destroyed, is not a simple task.

“Over the last 18 months we’ve pooled our understanding of what data and documents must be kept to comply with UK laws and regulations.

“The resulting example retention schedule and accompanying guidance provide a starting point for operators to determine their individual record retention requirements. Over time it may become a standard framework that the diverse range of companies now operating on the UKCS can work to.”

CDA will hold an industry workshop on 18 March 2018 to enable them to present a current understanding of records retention requirements and to seek feedback.

Daniel Brown added: “A freely available records retention schedule is a first for the oil and gas industry, and we hope it will prove a great time saver as companies seek to meet their legal obligations while recognising their individual business drivers to retain or dispose of asset information.

“We hope companies find the schedule and guidance useful in helping them increase the efficiency of their decommissioning planning while avoiding the substantial cost of retaining asset data and documentation for years longer than needed.”