Navigating international offshore decommissioning regulations

Understanding the regulations and guidelines surrounding the decommissioning of offshore facilities and infrastructure, as well as the plugging and abandonment (P&A) of offshore wells, is crucial for ensuring responsible and sustainable practices in the hydrocarbon industry. This Report, the second volume in a two-part series, aims to provide a comprehensive review of the national legislation and guidelines pertaining to offshore P&A activities for 35 hydrocarbon-producing countries.

The countries considered in the Report are Abu Dhabi, Algeria, Angola, Australia, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Brunei, Canada (East and West Coast), Denmark, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Republic of Guinea, India, Indonesia, Italy, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Qatar, Russian Federation, Spain, South Africa, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, UK, US (Gulf of Mexico, Alaska and California) and Venezuela. No specific offshore P&A guidelines were found for Egypt and Azerbaijan.

In many countries, specific P&A legislation or guidelines are minimal or absent, such that it is often the operator that determines the optimal approach.

Best efforts have been made to compile the decommissioning guidelines and regulations for the selected countries. However, this document should not be regarded as an exhaustive list of applicable regulations. By providing references current at the time of publication, this document is intended to provide a starting point for determining applicable regulations. In ensuring compliance, reference should be made to the original guidelines and regulations.

The document is intended to be a resource for operators and stakeholders who want to understand the current status of P&A requirements. It identifies the specific P&A obligations of a number of countries. In producing the report, other than those regulations associated with the transboundary movement of waste no international or regional legislations / requirements were identified. Those associated with the movement of waste are described in Volume 1.

The Report is not exhaustive in terms of the number of countries considered. It focuses on the interest of the contributing members of the IOGP Decommissioning Committee

It is available to download from the IOGP Publications library.

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