Aberdeen University

Opinion

Decommissioning – whose liability is it anyway?

20/11/2018

The mature phase of oil and gas operations on the UK continental shelf is proving to be more complex than we could have imagined even a few short years ago. It has long been recognised that, once a reservoir was depleted and the infrastructure associated with it redundant, decommissioning would be required in accordance with the UK’s international obligations. But it is now clear that, even as some reservoirs reach that point, new discoveries are being made and their development may depend on having access to existing infrastructure which otherwise would be decommissioned. The complex decisions involved in balancing the needs of new and future projects with the expectations of companies who want to decommission infrastructure is a matter for the Oil and Gas Authority working in conjunction with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

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