Chemicals – Pipeline


For more detail on the Legislation relevant to this page, please use the following links:

Supporting Legislation:
Consent Needed: The Petroleum Act, 1998 requires an application to be made to the Secretary of State for a Pipelines Works Authorisation to construct and use a submarine pipeline on the United Kingdom Continental Shelf.Although some information on chemicals may still included in the PWA application, use and discharge of chemicals is now covered by the Offshore Chemicals Regulations 2002 and a separate permit application is required.Emergency Pipeline Deposits – As part of standard pipeline operations, in order to allow urgent deposits to be made in emergency situations, an ‘Open Permission – Emergency Pipeline Deposit Template’ has been generated for PWA Holders.The ‘Open Permission’ requires the PWA Holder to complete the following template and submit it to the OGA by 9am on the next working day following the emergency deposit. This needs to be submit to Claire Grant ( at the OGA.
How to Apply: An Application must be made using a pipeline operation application.Note: The new pipeline operation application will consist of two elements; the Master Application Template (MAT) and the Subsidiary Application Template (SAT). Completion of the MAT provides access to various SATs:

Who to Apply to: PETS applications must be submitted electronically to BEIS via the UK Oil Portal. Operators will need to be registered with BEIS for access to the Portal.To set up a UK Oil Portal Account, contact the BEIS OED Environmental Management Team at problems with a PETS submission contact the BEIS OED EMT by email at
When to Apply: At least 28 days prior to operation. Consultations with MS or CEFAS will be made by BEIS.
Requirements of the Regulations: Operators will need to assess the risks to the environment which might arise from their particular chemicals use and discharge. For some chemicals e.g. those on the OSPAR PLONOR list, assessment will be straightforward. Others will require a formal process of risk assessment, such as can be done using available risk assessment protocols such as the Osborne Adams calculation. In this process, the predicted environmental concentration (PEC), determined from a knowledge of individual substance or product chemistry and the conditions of use, is compared with the Predicted No-effect Concentration (PNEC) determined from toxicity tests conducted to agreed protocols. This allows more informed assessments of risk to local sensitivities to be made in particular use and/or discharge scenarios.Marine Licensing Exempt Activities – A list of exemptions to marine licensing has been published and it details activities exempt from marine licensing and which exemptions require the MMO to be notified and which exemptions require MMO approval. This includes ‘cables and pipelines – authorised emergency repair and inspection’ and ‘deposit of marine chemical and marine oil treatment substances’.
Limits Placed on Disposal of Pipeline Chemicals:

Term permit for the discharge of chemicals from pipelines impose the following general duties:

  • Chemical concentrations measured at the point of discharge must not exceed the concentrations specified in the permit
  • Chemicals can only be discharged at the specified coordinates (latitude / longitude)
  • The discharge rate and volume of chemicals from the pipeline should not exceed the amounts stated within the permit
  • The chemicals can only be discharged at the water depth stated within the permit
UK National Plan for the phase-out of substances identified as candidates for substitution – in line with OSPAR Recommendation 2006/3:(The full text of the current UK National Plan for phase out can be found on the CEFAS website) OSPAR Recommendation 2006/3 requires that as soon as is practicable and no later than 1 January 2017, Contracting Parties to OSPAR should have phased out the discharge of offshore chemicals that are, or which contain substances, identified as candidates for substitution except for those chemicals where despite considerable efforts, it can be demonstrated that this is not feasible due to technical or safety reasons. Demonstration of those reasons should include a description of those efforts.Having considered the requirements of OSPAR Recommendation 2006/3, the UK has decided to base its National Plan for the prioritisation of phase-out on the following criteria:

  • Perceived difficulty of phase out
  • Securing the replacement of candidates for substitution in preference to eliminating operational discharges to the marine environment
  • Prioritisation based on the persistence, bioaccumulation and toxicological properties of the chemical

The UK National Plan also incorporates justification of continued use and/or discharge as an additional element: for those substances where replacement and/or eliminating discharges to the marine environment is not currently feasible, offshore operators or their chemical suppliers will annually be required to:

  • Confirm the efforts made to phase out the use and/or discharge of the candidates for substitution
  • Confirm the nature and timing of planned research and development studies or trials to supplement those efforts conform whether any measures have been taken to reduce the use and/or discharge of the candidate for substitution
  • Confirm the technical and/or safety issues that make it necessary to continue use and/or discharge of the candidate for substitution

UK National Plan level criteria and interim target dates are (See the full text of the UK National Plan (PDF document) on the CEFAS website for definitions of persistence, bioaccumulating and toxicity):

  • Level 1 (highest priority)
    • Organic substances that are highly persistent, bioaccumulating and toxic
    • Chemicals to be replaced, or discharges to the marine environment to be eliminated or continued use and/or discharge to be formally justified by end December 2010.
  • Level 2
    • Moderately persistent, bioaccumulating and toxic, or
    • Highly persistent and bioaccumulating, or
    • Highly persistent and toxic chemicals
    • To be replaced, or discharges to the marine environment eliminated, or continued use and/or discharge to be formally justified by end December 2012.
  • Level 3
    • Moderately persistent and bioaccumulating, or
    • Moderately persistent and toxic, or
    • Bioaccumulating and toxic chemicals
    • To be replaced, or discharges to the marine environment eliminated and/or discharge formally justified by end December 2014.
  • Level 4 (lowest priority)
    • Highly persistent organic substances, or
    • Inorganic substances with toxicity <1mg/l
    • Chemicals to be replaced, or discharges to the marine environment eliminated, or continued use and/or discharge to be formally justified by end December 2016.
EC Regulation 1907/2006 (REACH): REACH deals with the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemical substances. The aim of REACH is to improve the protection of human health and the environment through the better and earlier identification of the intrinsic properties of chemical substances. At the same time, innovative capability and competitiveness of the EU chemicals industry should be enhanced.The benefits of the REACH system will come gradually, as more and more substances are phased into REACH. The HSE is the UK Competent Authority for REACH and is working closely with Defra plus other Government departments and Agencies on the policy/enforcement aspects. HSE enforces maritime Health and Safety Regulations which apply to offshore installations. To ensure a consistent regime, the offshore enforcement of REACH will be carried out by those who are familiar with enforcement requirements in similar circumstances to that required by REACH. Therefore, HSE and BEIS will enforce offshore the aspects of REACH relating to health/safety and environmental protection, using their respective onshore administrative procedures and offshore inspectors to check compliance with the relevant provisions. In this regard, BEIS sits on the REACH Enforcement Liaison Group (established by the HSE) to ensure that a proportionate and consistent method of enforcement is adopted.From an offshore environmental protection perspective, the OSPAR HMCS and REACH requirements will run in parallel, with the HMCS approach to controlling offshore chemicals being appropriately harmonised with the provisions of the EU Regulation. Accordingly, the UK REACH Enforcement Regulations contain certain provisions from, and makes references to, the OCR so effectively OCR (and hence the HMCS) will be the mechanism for supporting the application of the environmental protection elements of REACH to offshore installations. It should, however, be noted that BEIS’s regulatory regime for offshore chemicals does not extend to Scottish controlled waters and therefore, in so far as this area is concerned, REACH will be enforced by an authorised body (i.e. SEPA) on behalf of the Scottish Executive.REACH provisions will be phased-in over 11 years. Appendix 1 of the Guidance Notes on Reach addresses Specific REACH issues pertaining to the offshore sector. A Timetable of REACH Implementation (Word document) is available on the Government Website.
Permit Conditions: It is likely that monitoring/sampling requirements will be imposed, but if they are this will be a part of the conditions attached to the Chemical Term Permit or Works Authorisation.
What to Report:

Chemical Use and Discharge

Reports should be made on pipeline chemicals as required using the EEMS PermPipe form from the EEMS website.

Annual Progress Reports on Substitution Chemicals

Previously progress reports on substitution chemicals have only been requested for production chemicals (production operation permit). This reporting requirement is now extended to term permits. A reporting template can be downloaded from BEIS (Excel document). Reporting includes summary of chemicals replaced, summary of chemicals still to be replaced and justification for continued use and/or discharge. This guidance document explains the completion of reporting spreadsheets. Some minor modifications have been made to the Annual Reporting spreadsheets and the Technical Justification Report (TJR) spreadsheet since the 2014 version.

Emergency Pipeline Deposits

As part of standard pipeline operations, in order to allow urgent deposits to be made in emergency situations, an ‘Open Permission – Emergency Pipeline Deposit Template’ has been generated for PWA Holders.

The ‘Open Permission’ requires the PWA Holder to complete the following template and submit it to the OGA by 9am on the next working day following the emergency deposit. This needs to be submit to Claire Grant ( at the OGA.

Who to Report to: Chemical Use and DischargeReports need to be made electronically on the EEMS website after each pipeline operation. BEIS will use EEMS reports to cross check against permit conditions to ensure compliance.

Annual Progress Reports on Substitution Chemicals

Reports need to be submitted to BEIS Environmental Management Team by email to

When to Report: Chemical Use and Discharge  EEMS reports are to be submitted 28 days after operation completion.Annual progress reports are required to be submitted on or before 28 February of each calendar year.
Non Compliance: The OCR Non-Compliance Notification Form (Word document) is to be used for reporting any identified non-compliances against Chemical Permit conditions issued under the provisions of the Offshore Chemical Regulations 2002. Examples of these may include, but are not limited to:

  • Identified over use of chemicals or use and/or discharge of chemicals not included on the permit.

In addition the form may be used to notify BEIS of any other applicable notifications specifically as required by the chemical permit conditions as appropriate.

Variations to chemical permits should be made before exceeding permit limits. Emergency approval of chemical use and/or discharge can be obtained out of normal office hours by contacting the BEIS Duty Officer – ask to be connected to the On-Call Response Office (Offshore Environmental Inspectorate). Guidance on emergency approval can be found in the Guidance Notes of the Legislation tab.

If a variation is not in place before the unpermitted use or discharge occurs, a non-compliance notification form should be submitted. It is an offence not to submit a non-compliance report if required.

Chemical spill: Any accidental spill of chemicals must be reported to BEIS using a PON1 (see Chemical Spills for additional details).
Inspections: At any reasonable time (or in a situation which in his opinion may give rise to a risk of significant pollution to the environment as a result of the use or discharge from an offshore source of an offshore chemical, at any time) the inspector may board any offshore installation to undertake inspections and investigations. The Offshore Oil and Gas Environment Enforcement Policy sets out the general principles that Inspectors shall follow in relation to enforcement including prosecution.
Enforcement and prohibition notices: BEIS, if of the opinion that the OCR 2002 Regulations have been contravened, may issue an enforcement notice. This will specify the matters that constitute or are likely to constitute a contravention, steps required to rectify the matter and the time period within which these steps must be undertaken. If an enforcement notice is not addressed, BEIS may take action itself and recover reasonable costs back from the operator. If BEIS is of the opinion that the operation of an offshore installation involves an imminent risk of serious pollution as a consequence of any discharge of chemical, BEIS may serve a prohibition notice. This will specify the pollution risk, the steps required to remove it and the time period, and may withdraw a permit wholly or in part until the prohibition notice is withdrawn.
False or Misleading Information: BEIS may by notice revoke a permit granted where they are of the opinion that the application for the permit in question contained any information or statement which was false or misleading in a material particular or where the operator in question has been guilty of a breach of any condition attached to the permit.
Offences: A person is guilty of an offence if he:

  • Uses or discharges any offshore chemical in the relevant area without a permit
  • Uses or discharges any offshore chemical in breach of the terms of any condition attached to any permit
  • Is seen by an inspector to use or discharge of an offshore chemical that involves a serious and imminent risk of pollution
  • Fails to supply any information required to be supplied by virtue of the terms of any permit granted under these Regulations
  • Knowingly or recklessly makes a statement which he knows to be false or misleading in a material particular where such a statement:
    • Is made in connection with or for the purposes of, any application for a permit, the renewal of a permit or the variation of a permit, or
    • Is made for the purposes of satisfying any requirement under these Regulations for the supply of information to the Secretary of State or an inspector appointed pursuant to regulation 16
  • Willfully obstructs an inspector, or
  • Without reasonable excuse fails to comply with an obligation imposed in pursuance of the regulations or prevents another person from complying with such a requirement.
Permit Duration: Permits for pipeline chemicals will normally be issued for a specified period and are “Term Permits”.
Renewal: This is not applicable as permits are issued for a specified permit. BEIS must be notified of any pipeline installation/commissioning schedule changes. If the permit expiry date is likely to be exceeded, a variation should be submitted in order to extend the permit, at least 2 weeks prior to the due date.
Emergency Variation: Permit holders applying for an emergency variation should telephone the BEIS out of hours contact. These details will be passed to the BEIS on-call Environmental Inspector who will contact the permit holder to further discuss the emergency variation request.Following a review of the chemical permitting procedures, BEIS now require that all emergency chemical variation requests are made in writing following the initial contact telephone call. The BEIS on-call Environmental Inspector will email a data request by email, with completed questions returned by email. Following a review of the request a written response granting or approving the variation will be sent by return of email. The applicant must subsequently formally vary the PETS permit within 2 working days of the emergency contact. For more information see Environmental Alert 004/2009.
Update, Variation or New Permit: Applications need to be made to BEIS for a variation in the terms and conditions of a permit if there is any increase in the use and discharge of chemicals or changes in the chemicals used. All applications need to be considered by BEIS and MS (CEFAS in England and Wales).Update – change to permit made after the application but before approval has been given.Variation – change to permit made after approval has been given.

Application for a variation or update should be made by clearly amending the previously submitted pipeline operation application. A variation or update cannot be submitted once a Term Permit has expired, and a new application must be submitted. If submitting a variation, all sections should be completed describing any changes in chemical usage relating to the new works. Variations will be dealt with by BEIS as quickly as possible, but 28 days should be allowed for the assessment of any significant changes. Note: a variation cannot be submitted once a Term Permit has expired, and a new application must be submitted.

Draft Persistent Organic Pollutants (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018 This legislation will maintain the operability of Regulation 2004/850 on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POP) through the elimination and restriction of the use of chemicals that have been internationally recognised as toxic, persistent, bio-accumulate and highly mobile.
Proposals for an Integrated Framework of Environmental Regulation: The proposals outlined by SEPA will deliver a simpler legislative framework which will enable SEPA to focus greater effort on the environmental problems that matter most. It will provide a more consistent range of enforcement tools so that proportionate and effective action can be taken against those who would damage the environment. The consultation that has been undertaken is built on previous consultations focusing on changes to the structure of environmental protection legislation in order to create a new, integrated framework for the permissions (licences, permits, rules, etc.) which will be used to control activities which could harm the environment.
Consultation on transposition of Environmental Impact Assessment Directive: Regulations on offshore hydrocarbon-related developments on pipe-lines BEIS are seeking opinions on amendments to Offshore Production and Pipe-lines Regulations to transpose the EIA Directive.This consultation closed at 11.45 pm on 16th March 2017.
Environmental Alert (001/2014) – PON1 Reporting: Issued by DECC (now BEIS) on 31 March 2014, this environmental alert (PDF document) highlights failures by a number of operators to comply with PON1 reporting requirements. Operators are reminded that in accordance with current reporting requirements PON1s must be reported within 6 hours to:

  • Aberdeen Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) in addition to immediate telephone notification to the nearest MRCC Coastguard Station.
  • Department of Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS); additional telephone notification is required to the Department for specific scenarios as detailed within the PON1 reporting guidance.
  • Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) and any relevant Statutory Nature Conservation Body (SNCB) in accordance with installation oil pollution emergency plan arrangements.

The Department of Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) regularly issues environmental alert notices in order to raise awareness of any environmental issues on the United Kingdom Continental Shelf (UKCS) so companies can respond appropriately. They are issued directly to Oil and Gas operators and published here.

Guidance on Biocide legislation – Getting on the list of active substance suppliers:

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) provides a useful guide on biocides legislation.

If chemical suppliers want to stay on the market with a biocidal product after 1 September 2015 they will need to get on the list of active substance suppliers (Article 95 of the Biocidal Products Regulation). ECHA provides a step by step guide on how to get on this list.

Copper Anti-fouling Systems under Biocidal Products Directive

A new legal requirement came into force under the EU Biocidal Products Directive 98/8/EC, prohibiting the supply and use of copper as a biocide when used in liquid-cooling and processing systems.
Copper is used offshore in a number of systems e.g. sea water lift, fire water systems, injection systems, ballast systems and engine cooling HVAC cooling.
Although not an exhaustive list, oil and gas operators should check all systems/vessels/installations using copper anti-fouling systems, or when used as a biocide in liquid-cooling and processing systems.

Further details are available from the Anti-Fouling Systems page.

Pipeline Discharges Pipeline discharges cannot be calculated using the CHARM calculator, however CEFAS has developed a methodology for the calculation of PEC: PNEC for pipeline hydro test chemicals and is described in the BEIS Additional Guidance. This is not a definitive method and BEIS will consider alternative risk assessment methods/models when presented with the appropriate scientific justification.
UK/Norway Median Line Where a pipeline crosses the UK/Norway boundary, the provisions of the Framework Agreement between UK and Norway (PDF document), which was signed in April 2005, will apply.