Streamlining the regulatory journey for offshore oil and gas decommissioning

Well Plug and Abandonment (P&A)

Well plug and abandonment activity is currently the largest predicted spend in decommissioning.  Ensuring well integrity after abandonment and removal of sea bed structures is necessary to prevent safety issues from well blowouts, environmental harm from leakage of hydrocarbons, or interference with other marine activities from wellheads after activities have ceased.

Information on notifications, authorisations and other activities relating to well P&A are found below


Operators must seek approval from NSTA prior to abandoning a well.  Given the potential costs of P&A activity and impact on MER, NSTA are also particularly interested in P&A cost reduction strategies whilst meeting stringent criteria for protecting health and safety and the environment.


Well P&A consents Under the licence conditions (model clauses), the  licensee is not permitted to commence, suspend or recommence drilling of any well or to carry out the completion or recompletion works, suspend or abandon any well without the consent of the NSTA.

go to resource

Well P&A Technology Information on the benefits of technology in this area and its contribution to lower the overall UKCS P&A cost estimates

go to resource


Notification to OSDR is required for P&A activities.  No operations can begin before activity can be carried out before approval of the Wells Notification by the inspector and resolution of any objections.  


Wells Notifications Information and guidance on how OSDR will inspect wells notifications

go to resource

Wells Guidance Information on how OSDR ensure safety of design, construction and maintenance of wells across the well lifecycle

go to resource