Regulatory background

As hydrocarbon production from offshore oil and gas fields come to an end, operators are required to consider the timing and methods for their redevelopment, possible reuse or the decommissioning of any facilities serving the field including platforms, pipelines and other related subsea infrastructure.

The rules for the waters around the United Kingdom – the UK Continental Shelf – are set out in the Petroleum Act 1998, and as amended by the Energy Act 2008. This takes into account the UK’s international obligations on decommissioning, governed principally by the 1992 Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North East Atlantic (OSPAR Convention) and in particular, the 1998 OSPAR Decision 98/3 .

Please see the Guidance Notes from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) which help explain the regulations in more detail.