Oil and gas – guidance

Oil and gas: environmental alerts and incident reporting including anonymous reporting

How to report incidents, including pro-formas for PON1 and PON2 and guidance on completion; listing of environmental alerts for operators in the North Sea.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) 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 below.

Incorrect co-ordinates being recorded on a PON1
* Environmental Alert 001/2016 – Issue date 15 April 2016 (PDF, 82KB, 1 page)

Explanation of Use for “Known Third Party” Option on PON1 Reporting Form
* Environmental Alert 003/2015 (amended) – Issue date 5 August 2015 (PDF, 147KB, 3 pages)

Environmental Permits – Operator Name
* Environmental Alert 002/2015 – Issue date 1 April 2015 (PDF, 21.8KB, 1 page)

Inspection and Monitoring of BOP control lines
* Environmental Alert 001/2015 – Issue date 3 March 2015 (PDF, 393KB, 3 pages)

Bunkering Operations during the hours of darkness – PON1 Reports
* Environmental Alert 006/2014 – Issue date 31 December 2014 (PDF, 102KB, 1 page)

Incorrect Calculation of Oil on Sand Concentrations
* Environmental Alert 005/2014 – Issue date 10 November 2014 (PDF, 81.4KB, 2 pages)

Energy Act 2008, Part 4a - Consent to Locate
* Environmental Alert 004/2014 – Issue date 28 October 2014 (PDF, 92.2KB, 1 page)

F-Gas Regulations
* Environmental Alert 003/2014 – Issue date 29 August 2014 (PDF, 23.8KB, 1 page)

Emergency Deposit Consents
* Environmental Alert 002/2014 – Issue date 25 April 2014 (PDF, 103KB, 2 pages)

PON1 Reporting Requirements
* Environmental Alert 001/2014 – Issue date 31 March 2014 (PDF, 25.4KB, 2 pages)

  F-gas reporting awareness
* Environmental Alert 007/2013 – Issue date 20 November 2013 (PDF, 34.6KB, 2 pages)

  Emergency chemical permit variations
* Environmental Alert 006/2013 – Issue date 20 September 2013 (PDF, 86.2KB, 1 page)

  Risk assessments for temporary equipment
* Environmental Alert 005/2013 – Issue date 19 August 2013 (PDF, 22.2KB, 2 pages)

  Oil sample handling
* Environmental Alert 004/2013 – Issue date 29 July 2013 (PDF, 85.6KB, 2 pages)

  Late submission of PON1s
* Environmental Alert 003/2013 – Issue date 23 May 2013 (PDF, 23.9KB, 2 pages)

  Composition of releases to sea
* Environmental Alert 002/2013 – Issue date 27 March 2013 (PDF, 8.76KB, 1 page)

  Procedures for environmentally critical tasks
* Environmental Alert 001/2013 - Issue date 14 January 2013 (PDF, 31.7KB, 1 page)

  Cargo offload systems
* Environmental Alert 002/2012 - Issue date 29 November 2012 (PDF, 67.2KB, 1 page)

  Bunkering of bulk products/chemicals
* Environmental Alert 001/2012 - Issue date 30 October 2012 (PDF, 6.61KB, 1 page)

  Lost or dropped objects from offshore installations
* Environmental Alert 002/2011 - Issue date 09 December 2011 (PDF, 6.81KB, 1 page)

  Oil pollution incident response training
* Environmental Alert 001/2011 - Issue date 06 October 2011 (PDF, 44.6KB, 2 pages)

  Inclusion of subsea infrastructure in OPEPs
* Environmental Alert 001/2010 - Issue date 05 January 2010 (PDF, 63.6KB, 1 page)

  New emergency chemical permit variations procedure
* Environmental Alert 004/2009 - Issue date 11 August 2009 (PDF, 50.7KB, 2 pages)

  Permit applications/non-compliances/investigations
* Environmental Alert 003/2009 - Issue date 04 June 2009 (PDF, 55.8KB, 2 pages)

  Emergency contact numbers
* Environmental Alert 002/2009 - Issue date 02 April 2009 (PDF, 51.4KB, 1 page)

  Closure of isolation valves
* Environmental Alert 001/2009 - Issue date 09 March 2009 (PDF, 50KB, 1 page)

  Environmental risk from drainage pump
* Environmental Alert 001/2008 - Issue date 12 November 2008 (PDF, 58KB, 1 page)

Reporting incidents to DECC

A list of pro-formas and guidance documents operators can use when reporting incidents:

PON 1 Data

The following spreadsheet presents data about oil and chemical releases that took place between 2005 and 2012. Petroleum Operations Notices (PONs) are used to report oil and chemical releases. PON 1 is used to report oil and chemical releases and Permitted Discharge Notifications (PDNs) from offshore installations and pipelines.

Readers should be aware that HSE and DECC publish Hydrocarbon Release data on their website in accordance with regulatory reporting requirements. HSE and DECC have different regulatory responsibilities and this is reflected in the incident reports received.

Hydrocarbon Release data submitted to HSE is primarily concerned with gaseous and flammable liquid releases capable of causing serious injury or fatality or a major accident. Where required to be reported it is the total quantity released that is reported regardless of whether the hydrocarbon enters the sea.

DECC, as the offshore environmental regulator, requires operators to submit details of all chemical and oil releases/spills to sea, regardless of quantity. It is only the quantity of oil or chemical released/spilled to sea that is reported. This information is submitted by operators using a Petroleum Operations Notice 1 (PON1). The PON1 does not record gaseous releases. This data is available below.

As a result of the above reporting requirements there may be incidents that are reported independently to HSE or DECC or on some occasions to both, depending on circumstances. Quantities reported may also vary as DECC is only notified of quantities spilled to sea with the potential to cause pollution.

Please direct any queries to: offshore.inspectorate@decc.gsi.gov.uk

Anonymously reporting environmental concerns relating to offshore oil and gas operations

If you have a concern about an environmental pollution incident/breach of offshore regulations you can report it online to the Department of Energy and Climate Change. This section of the GOV.UK website, provides a mechanism for those aware of an environmental offshore incident, such as the release or unpermitted discharge of oil or chemicals to sea, to report this information anonymously.

You will not be required to provide any personal details should you wish to remain anonymous. However, in these circumstances the Department will be unable to update you with its response to the information you provided. Should you wish to receive an update, we require you to leave sufficient personal details and advise us of your preferred method of communication. Where you provide your personal details the Department will strive to protect your confidentiality, however it cannot guarantee your anonymity.

Before you start

There has to be a good reason for investigating environmental concerns relating to offshore oil and gas operations so you’ll need to provide as much of the following information as possible including:

  • the name of the installation involved?
  • a detailed description of the incident?
  • is the incident new/or is it ongoing?

The information you provide is strictly confidential.

You don’t have to give your name unless you want to.

To submit a report please access the form here – Anonymous Reporting form - on Portal

Other ways to apply

You can also report an environmental concern by telephone or post.

DECC Anonymous Reporting Hotline (DARH) Telephone: 01224 254138

Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm

If your call is outwith office hours, you may wish to contact the DECC London Duty Office on 0207 215 3505/3234

Offshore Environmental Inspectorate Unit
4th Floor,
Atholl House
86-88 Guild Street
AB11 6AR

What happens after you have submitted a report

DECC’s Offshore Environmental Investigation Team will review the information you have reported. If you’ve given enough information they’ll investigate the incident.

The Investigation Team may not always be able to tell you the outcome and sometimes no action is taken.

DECC’s Offshore Environmental Inspectorate will take action if they find there is evidence of an incident that results in pollution or a contravention of the regulations. The enforcement options available are detailed in the Department’s Enforcement policy which can be accessed here at Oil and Gas: DECC Public Registers of Enforcement Activity - DECC Offshore Enforcement Policy