UK: New guidance launched to help plan decommissioning

Shell’s Brent Delta platform before it was removed from the field using the Allseas-owned Pioneering Spirit vessel.

An industry workgroup has issued new guidance that will help companies plan decommissioning more efficiently, Oil & Gas UK announced on Thursday. 

Oil & Gas UK, a representative organization for the UK offshore oil and gas industry, said that its subsidiary, Common Data Access (CDA), has worked with the Shell Brent Decommissioning Project and the School of Law at the University of Aberdeen to create 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.

“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 recognizing their individual business drivers to retain or dispose of asset information.”

CDA supplies the UK oil and gas industry with shared services for managing UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) subsurface information.

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