Engineering and legal considerations for decommissioning of offshore oil and gas infrastructure in Australia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Offshore oil and gas platforms, pipelines and other ancillary offshore infrastructure are aging in Australia and current regulatory frameworks favour complete removal at the end of life. However, evidence indicates that artificial reefs have formed around some of these structures and their removal could cause more harm than good. Furthermore, other perceived social, environmental and economic benefits of a total removal policy may not be warranted. The Australian regulator (NOPSEMA) is currently exploring the possibility of supporting an in situ decommissioning policy, in which alternatives to full removal such as leaving in situ, partial removal or nearby relocation may be adopted if demonstrated to be the preferable approach. This will necessarily involve changes to law and policy but such amendments must be evidence-based. The evidence needed will largely involve the disciplines of engineering and natural sciences, but also fields such as environmental management, economics, social sciences and law. If Australia were to progress an in situ decommissioning policy shift, research will be needed across all of these areas in the specific national context. This paper commences by outlining emergent engineering knowledge, showing the general conservatism of current methodologies available to assess the integrity of decommissioned offshore facilities. Thereafter, the particular legal environment in Australia is explored. This article contributes to the growing body of literature on in situ decommissioning but in setting a multi-disciplinary research agenda takes a more holistic approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)338-347
Number of pages10
JournalOcean Engineering
Volume131
Early online date23 Jan 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017

Fingerprint

Gases
Natural sciences
Knowledge engineering
Economics
Reefs
Relocation
Environmental management
Social sciences
Pipelines
Aging of materials
Oils

Cite this

@article{0b78114eeed24fdfa2da2b7ef2161582,
title = "Engineering and legal considerations for decommissioning of offshore oil and gas infrastructure in Australia",
abstract = "Offshore oil and gas platforms, pipelines and other ancillary offshore infrastructure are aging in Australia and current regulatory frameworks favour complete removal at the end of life. However, evidence indicates that artificial reefs have formed around some of these structures and their removal could cause more harm than good. Furthermore, other perceived social, environmental and economic benefits of a total removal policy may not be warranted. The Australian regulator (NOPSEMA) is currently exploring the possibility of supporting an in situ decommissioning policy, in which alternatives to full removal such as leaving in situ, partial removal or nearby relocation may be adopted if demonstrated to be the preferable approach. This will necessarily involve changes to law and policy but such amendments must be evidence-based. The evidence needed will largely involve the disciplines of engineering and natural sciences, but also fields such as environmental management, economics, social sciences and law. If Australia were to progress an in situ decommissioning policy shift, research will be needed across all of these areas in the specific national context. This paper commences by outlining emergent engineering knowledge, showing the general conservatism of current methodologies available to assess the integrity of decommissioned offshore facilities. Thereafter, the particular legal environment in Australia is explored. This article contributes to the growing body of literature on in situ decommissioning but in setting a multi-disciplinary research agenda takes a more holistic approach.",
keywords = "Decommissioning, Multi-disciplinarity, Offshore infrastructure engineering, Resources law and policy, Rigs-to-reefs",
author = "John Chandler and David White and Techera, {Erika J.} and Susan Gourvenec and Scott Draper",
year = "2017",
month = "2",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.oceaneng.2016.12.030",
language = "English",
volume = "131",
pages = "338--347",
journal = "Ocean Engineering",
issn = "0029-8018",
publisher = "Pergamon",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Engineering and legal considerations for decommissioning of offshore oil and gas infrastructure in Australia

AU - Chandler, John

AU - White, David

AU - Techera, Erika J.

AU - Gourvenec, Susan

AU - Draper, Scott

PY - 2017/2/1

Y1 - 2017/2/1

N2 - Offshore oil and gas platforms, pipelines and other ancillary offshore infrastructure are aging in Australia and current regulatory frameworks favour complete removal at the end of life. However, evidence indicates that artificial reefs have formed around some of these structures and their removal could cause more harm than good. Furthermore, other perceived social, environmental and economic benefits of a total removal policy may not be warranted. The Australian regulator (NOPSEMA) is currently exploring the possibility of supporting an in situ decommissioning policy, in which alternatives to full removal such as leaving in situ, partial removal or nearby relocation may be adopted if demonstrated to be the preferable approach. This will necessarily involve changes to law and policy but such amendments must be evidence-based. The evidence needed will largely involve the disciplines of engineering and natural sciences, but also fields such as environmental management, economics, social sciences and law. If Australia were to progress an in situ decommissioning policy shift, research will be needed across all of these areas in the specific national context. This paper commences by outlining emergent engineering knowledge, showing the general conservatism of current methodologies available to assess the integrity of decommissioned offshore facilities. Thereafter, the particular legal environment in Australia is explored. This article contributes to the growing body of literature on in situ decommissioning but in setting a multi-disciplinary research agenda takes a more holistic approach.

AB - Offshore oil and gas platforms, pipelines and other ancillary offshore infrastructure are aging in Australia and current regulatory frameworks favour complete removal at the end of life. However, evidence indicates that artificial reefs have formed around some of these structures and their removal could cause more harm than good. Furthermore, other perceived social, environmental and economic benefits of a total removal policy may not be warranted. The Australian regulator (NOPSEMA) is currently exploring the possibility of supporting an in situ decommissioning policy, in which alternatives to full removal such as leaving in situ, partial removal or nearby relocation may be adopted if demonstrated to be the preferable approach. This will necessarily involve changes to law and policy but such amendments must be evidence-based. The evidence needed will largely involve the disciplines of engineering and natural sciences, but also fields such as environmental management, economics, social sciences and law. If Australia were to progress an in situ decommissioning policy shift, research will be needed across all of these areas in the specific national context. This paper commences by outlining emergent engineering knowledge, showing the general conservatism of current methodologies available to assess the integrity of decommissioned offshore facilities. Thereafter, the particular legal environment in Australia is explored. This article contributes to the growing body of literature on in situ decommissioning but in setting a multi-disciplinary research agenda takes a more holistic approach.

KW - Decommissioning

KW - Multi-disciplinarity

KW - Offshore infrastructure engineering

KW - Resources law and policy

KW - Rigs-to-reefs

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85009958855&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.oceaneng.2016.12.030

DO - 10.1016/j.oceaneng.2016.12.030

M3 - Article

VL - 131

SP - 338

EP - 347

JO - Ocean Engineering

JF - Ocean Engineering

SN - 0029-8018

ER -