Fossil energy – decommissioning
Today The National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) from Australia has accepted Esso’s revised EP for its Bass Straight operations.
The revised EP of ExxonMobil’s Australian subsidiary Esso was necessary to ensure the ongoing management of all Esso facilities in the Bass Straight, both operational and non-operational.
While Esso’s EP addressed aspects of decommissioning work at its non-operational facilities, the scale of the work required, and the associated timeframes, are beyond the scope of the EP.
To ensure decommissioning activities are undertaken at non-operational facilities in a timely fashion NOPSEMA has issued a general direction requiring Esso to complete all preparatory decommissioning activities, including plugging or closing wells and commencing topside dismantling by 2027, and to ensure facilities are maintained so that structures and equipment can be safely removed in the future.
Additionally, Esso must explore opportunities to reduce the timeframe for completing the decommissioning activities and report regularly on progress to NOPSEMA.
Esso has a large number of ageing assets and this will be the first time decommissioning on this scale has been undertaken in Australia. NOPSEMA will be closely monitoring Esso’s progress.