Decommissioning – Consent Requirements




Action Needed

3-5 years

Undertake preliminary meeting with BEIS reference Decommissioning Programme. Will include requirement to schedule events. Different options are available for pipelines and installations.

3 years

Describe and quantify materials on the structure to be decommissioned including chemical inventory. Identify possible decommissioning options and disposal routes.
Undertake comparative environmental assessment of decommissioning options.
Identify if project is in an area of any designated habitats and whether decommissioning are likely to have an impact. Consult with JNCC.
If planning to leave pipeline in-situ undertake study addressing pipeline exposure and impact on environment
If apply for derogation, prepare Derogation Case.
Prepare 1st draft of Decommissioning Programme.

24 months

Submit 1st draft of Decommissioning Programme. BEIS will undertake consultation with Government Departments including MS/CEFAS, DETR, SEPA/EA, JNCC and the HSE.

21 months

Receipt of BEIS feedback on 1st draft of Decommissioning Programme.If applying for derrogation, this may take longer.

18 months

Submit 2nd draft of Decommissioning Programme. BEIS will again consider it in conjunction with Government Departments.
Operator to circulate copy to all other Statutory Consultees and publicise proposals in press and on internet. Statutory consultees to be given 30 days to comment.
Consider need for baseline environmental survey around installation/pipeline if no survey data already exists.

16 months

Receipt of BEIS feedback on 2nd draft of Decommissioning Programme.

12 months

Submit final draft of Decommissioning Programme, including outcome of consultation programme.

Submit Application for Oil Discharge Permit for any potential oily discharges to BEIS.


Submit Application for Disposal of Material under FEPA if any seabed deposits anticipated.


Consultation and applications to SEPA/EA for any waste disposal licences.

4-6 months

Receipt of written approval of Decommissioning Programme from BEIS.

4 months


Prepare and submit Decommissioning Operations Application (DCA) for any chemicals to be used/discharged during decommissioning.

6 weeks

Provide Notice of Change of Status of pipeline and/or installation to UK Hydrographic Office.


  Note: also see Well Abandonment if applicable

Key Compliance Post Decommissioning

Where pipeline or any part of any installation are left in place, locational data and surveyed depths to be submitted to the Hydrographic Office. Navigational aids must be installed and maintained for any remains that project above the sea surface.

Ensure segregation of hazardous (e.g. oily waste, asbestos and chemicals) and non-hazardous wastes. Ensure records kept of all hazardous (special waste) and consignment notes for transfer completed.

Ensure compliance with all waste disposal licences and waste transfer documentation requirements for scrap metal and non-hazardous waste. Reuse or recycling is the preferred option.

Following removal of debris, independent verification survey is required.

Undertaken post decommissioning environmental seabed sampling survey to monitor levels of hydrocarbons, heavy metals and other contaminants. Survey strategy will have been agreed with BEIS.

Submit copies of all debris clearance and survey reports to BEIS.