The difficulty of the place legal responsibility lies for oil and fuel infrastructure left in place after decommissioning will come underneath the highlight at a enterprise breakfast going down on the University of Aberdeen this week.

Professor John Paterson, from the University’s Law School, will lead a dialogue that can ask whether or not the present authorized place is sufficiently clear, and discover potential choices which may profit business.

The occasion, which takes place on the Sir Duncan Rice library on Wednesday (November 21st), is going down to advertise the University’s on-line studying programmes, which incorporates the world’s first MSc in Decommissioning.


Guidance issued by the UK Government states that legal responsibility for prices related to issues arising after an oil discipline is decommissioned – for instance, the degradation of infrastructure left within the sea – rests with the proprietor or part 29 discover holder* on the level of decommissioning.

However, a authorized evaluation knowledgeable by property regulation and the way it pertains to infrastructure on the UK continental shelf means this steering may very well be open to problem. There can also be a query mark over what would occur if a accountable celebration was to go bust, a state of affairs which will depart the UK taxpayer to foot the invoice for any future repairs.

Professor Paterson stated: “As decommissioning of oil and fuel infrastructure gathers tempo it is very important know who can be accountable for something left in place. Government steering had beforehand acknowledged that residual legal responsibility for decommissioning stays with the proprietor in perpetuity – albeit with out specifying who the proprietor is.

“The most up-to-date steering from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy clarifies that it’s the proprietor of an set up or pipeline or a piece 29 discover holder at decommissioning who bears residual legal responsibility.

“But is that the consequence that emerges from an evaluation knowledgeable by property regulation? Even whether it is, would possibly or not it’s preferable for the state to imagine legal responsibility, as a practical different that provides readability and long-term safety, however leaves the UK taxpayer to select up the tab for future issues? Or ought to any switch of legal responsibility to the state be on the idea of a contribution from the related business actor – as is no less than envisaged in Norway?

“These are the questions and points that I look ahead to discussing at this week’s enterprise breakfast.”

In addition to the dialogue led by Professor Paterson, there will even be a take a look at the University’s collaboration with the Oil and Gas Technology Centre, which has resulted within the creation of the brand new National Decommissioning Centre.

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The Centre will deal with present and future challenges in partnership with the oil and fuel business within the UK and internationally, anchoring key abilities and experience within the north-east of Scotland.


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