Deposit of Stabilisation and Protection Materials 

For information on the impact of Brexit on oil and gas environmental legislation, please refer to the pdf document downloadable from the Home Page.

Key Legislation:

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

Guidance Notes:
  • Deposit Consent Application Checklist (PDF document) should be used as guidance.
  • 2020 EIA Regulations Guidance: The Offshore Oil and Gas Exploration, Production, Unloading and Storage (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2020 – A Guide. This guidance is accompanied by a template for the Environmental Statement Details to be provided upfront of the ES and an EIA summary of Project template to be provided to OPRED as part of the EIA submission pack. The Guidance and templates can be downloaded from the UK Government’s website.

The MMO seek to remind operators that the laying of telecommunications and / or power cables within UK territorial waters (up to 12 nautical miles) requires a marine licence.  Details on Marine Licence requirements are detailed here.

The PWA and DEPCON guidance has been moved to the NSTA website, capturing the transition of DECC to BEIS in the guidance.

Consent Needed: Deposits related to drilling, pipeline, production and intervention operationsConsent under the Petroleum Act 1998.Deposits relating to decommissioning or abandonment operationsMCAA licence (see Decommissioning Deposits).
How to Apply:

Applications should be made as follows:

If a requirement to deposit materials arises following issue of the relevant Direction, the operator can seek a direction for the deposits by varying the existing MAT. In both cases, the operator also has the option of submitting a stand-alone MAT (with the exception of production operations).

Who to Apply to: MATs 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 PON15 submission contact the BEIS OED EMT by email at
When to Apply: MATs and SATs must be made at least 28 days before operation commences. However, if also seeking a direction for which an ES is not required, additional time should be allowed.
Limits placed on the deposition of material:

The licensing authority may require that the deposited material be removed upon job completion. However, conditions are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Deposited Materials: None required.
What to Report: Where a direction is issued for the deposit of stabilisation or protection materials, BEIS requires operators to complete a return form, ‘Deposit of Stabilisation / Protection Materials’ using the Excel Spreadsheet provided by BEIS. This will enable the Department to collate information on all future deposits, which will be particularly relevant in relation to our assessments of potential impacts on protected habitats and species.A Nil Return must be provided where no deposits have been made.
Who to Report to: Reports need to be submitted to the BEIS Environmental Management Team by email to
When to Report: Following completion of material deposit operations.
What to do if in Breach of Consent: No work should commence for which consent is required under the Petroleum Act 1998, as to do so may constitute an offence under the Act.
Offshore Inspection: The BEIS (then DECC) Offshore Oil and Gas Environment Unit Enforcement Policy (PDF document) sets out the general principles that Inspectors shall follow in relation to enforcement including prosecution.
Directions issued will be valid for a period of 2 years.
BEIS Environmental Alert 002/2016 The offshore environmental inspectorate has noticed an increase in the number of operators breaching permit conditions, particularly with reference to depositing rock outside of approved areas, depositing unauthorised quantities of grout bags, unlicensed deposit of sandbags and carrying out geological surveys out with permitted dates.Operators are reminded that undertaking operations which contravene permit terms and conditions can be a criminal offence of the permit or licence holder.
DECC Environmental Alert (002/2014) – Emergency Deposit Consents: Issued on 25 April 2014 this environmental alert (PDF document) informs operators of BEIS (then DECC) policy regarding an emergency requirement relating to a consent for the Deposit of Materials on the Seabed (DepCon), and an amendment of the associated Pipelines Operations Deposit Direction, out of normal office hours.In an emergency situation and out of office hours, when operators wish to deposit material in excess of that consented in a DepCon and authorised under the associated Pipelines Operations Deposit Direction, they should inform the Department’s Duty Environmental Inspector via the emergency out of hours telephone number: 0207 215 3505/3234.
Laying of telecommunications and power cables The MMO seek to remind operators that the laying of telecommunications and / or power cables within UK territorial waters (up to 12 nautical miles) requires a marine licence.  Details on Marine Licence requirements are detailed here.