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Offshore Industry: Decommissioning

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 15th February 2017.

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Photo of Lord Bruce of Bennachie Lord Bruce of Bennachie Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Scotland)

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans there are for reviewing the decommissioning policy for UK oil and gas installations at the end of their operating life.

Photo of Lord Prior of Brampton Lord Prior of Brampton Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

The policy for the decommissioning of UK Offshore oil and gas installations is based on the International Marine Organisation guidelines, the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and ultimately OSPAR decision 98/3, which prohibits the dumping, and the leaving wholly or partly in place, of disused offshore installations within the maritime area. A derogation to leave installations or parts of installations in place can be agreed, if the installations were put in place prior to 1999 and the jacket is over 10,000 tonnes, or if it is a gravity-based concrete installation.

We comply with our legal obligations and the policy is fully understood and well accepted by industry, NGOs, statutory nature conservation bodies and other users of the sea. We have no current plans to review this policy; however we are constantly updating our guidance to reflect what we and industry have learned from the removal of infrastructure already decommissioned.

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