Oil and gas – guidance

Oil and gas: infrastructure

Observing the Infrastructure Code of Practice and the UK/Norway Framework Agreement; guidelines for Pipeline Works Authorisations.

On 1st April 2015 certain functions passed from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) a newly created Executive Agency of DECC

Overview

This page contains a number of sections concerned with various aspects relating to Upstream Oil and Gas Infrastructure, including negotiations for third party access, information about UK platforms and pipelines, and the arrangements for applying for Pipeline Works Authorisations.

Guidance on upstream oil and gas infrastructure access dispute resolution

Access for developers of offshore oil and gas fields to upstream infrastructure for the purpose of transporting and processing hydrocarbons is a key element in the process of extracting the UK’s petroleum resources. Companies seeking access for their hydrocarbons to such infrastructure must apply in the first instance to the relevant owner of the infrastructure in question. The Infrastructure Code of Practice (‘ICoP’) describes good practice for negotiating third party access; the ICoP and associated Guidance Notes can be obtained free of charge as publications OP022 and OP080 respectively from Oil & Gas UK

If a third party is unable to agree satisfactory terms of access with the owner of the upstream oil and gas infrastructure, the third party seeking such access can – and under the terms of the Infrastructure Code of Practice may be obliged to – make an application to the Secretary of State to require access to be granted and to determine the terms on which it is to be granted.

The OGA’s guidance on disputes over third-party access to upstream oil and gas infrastructure (PDF, 390KB, 27 pages) sets out the requirements and obligations on all parties. It also sets out the approach the OGA would take in handling applications and the principles the OGA would expect to be guided by in determining terms of access.

The current guidance reflects the third party access provisions of the Energy Act 2011 which came into force on 21 March 2012. The OGA will review the guidance in the light of industry comments, experience and other information when necessary; the latest version dated 15 July 2013 incorporates revised text from the Office of Fair Trading regarding competition law.

Comments on the guidance are welcomed. It would be helpful if any proposals for changes include, wherever possible, both reasons and suggestions. For all general enquiries, write to:

Robert White
Email: robert.a.white@oga.gsi.gov.uk
Telephone: 0300 068 6056

Summary of applications received and considered by the OGA under sections 82-84 of the Energy Act 2011 and earlier legislation

Date applied Applicant Field Infrastructure operator Facility Outcome Link to agreed or imposed terms
Apr 2010 Endeavour Energy Rochelle Nexen Scott Platform ‘Minded to’ terms given; parties reached agreement following further negotiation Rochelle-Scott ICoP Summary
Feb 2011 Apache North Sea Bacchus BP Forties Pipeline System ‘Minded to’ terms given; parties reached agreement following further negotiation Bacchus-FPS ICoP Summary
Sep 2013 OMV Howe Shell Nelson Platform Access terms imposed by a Notice A summary of the Notice is being prepared by the OGA in accordance with s86 of the Energy Act 2011 – to be published on this page when finalised.
Dec 2013 Iona Energy Orlando CNR International Ninian Central Platform ‘Minded to’ terms given; parties reached agreement following further negotiation Summary of agreed terms is in preparation by the parties

Performance Review of Infrastructure Negotiations

As a result of work carried out by the PILOT Infrastructure Access Group during 2012, it was agreed that more effort should be made across industry to review the effectiveness and outcome of each third party access negotiation. The prospective user and host owner groups should carry out a post activity review in order to learn lessons from the process and seek improvements that can be made for the future. Building on this, we now expect the user operator and host operator to each complete a questionnaire which gathers information on the approach taken in the negotiation. The questionnaire is divided into two phases; the first covers the handling of the enquiry from the prospective user up to the point that a decision is made whether or not to proceed with a specific export route, and the second covers subsequent detailed negotiations through to conclusion (whether successful or not). The attached diagram illustrates this process.

It should be noted that a reference number can be obtained from the OGA at the start of each third party access enquiry to an owner (on request to Upstream.infrastructure@oga.gsi.gov.uk), and this will also alert us that a negotiation has started. Use of this reference number when subsequently completing the questionnaire will ensure that the views of the parties for each negotiation can be analysed effectively. The information gathered by this process will be used by the OGA to follow up on specific issues with parties, as well as allow the analysis and tracking of industry trends.

The questionnaire is named SPRINT (System for Performance Review of Infrastructure Negotiation Tracking) for short, and is contained within the Excel spreadsheet below. Should there be difficulties in using the spreadsheet, it is possible to use either of the Word documents to complete the questionnaire and send it to by email or as a hard copy. A user guide is also available below.

Contact:

Robert White Email: robert.a.white@oga.gsi.gov.uk
Telephone: 0300 068 6056

Rich Thyer Email: richard.thyer@oga.gsi.gov.uk Telephone: 0300 068 6849

Sue Pain Email: sue.pain@oga.gsi.gov.uk Telephone: 0300 068 6047

Or:

Upstream.infrastructure@oga.gsi.gov.uk

Pipelines and platforms

From this section you can access all guidance produced to assist pipeline promoters on issues related to:

  • legislation
  • decommissioning
  • disused pipelines
  • flaring and venting
  • pipelines work authorisations

You can also download a spreadsheet detailing the length, diameter, operator, starting and ending locations, and commission date for all UK pipelines.

Current UK pipelines and platforms

UK/Norway Framework Agreement 1998

The agreement relates to pipelines on the continental shelf that cross the UK/Norway boundary and link infrastructure on one side under the jurisdiction of one government to infrastructure on the other side under the jurisdiction of the other government. Please note: Vesterled was not covered by the agreement because the Heimdal facilities on the Norwegian shelf and the Norwegian Frigg pipeline on the UKCS are both under Norwegian jurisdiction. Similarly, pipelines direct from a Norwegian field, for example, to a UK landing terminal, are outside the scope of the agreement because the landing terminal would be on the UK’s land territory and not on the UKCS. The term ‘petroleum’ refers to all liquid and gaseous hydrocarbons.

Licences, authorisations, approvals and consents

Laying and operation of inter-connecting pipelines is subject to authorisations:

  • inlet flange connected to infrastructure on Norwegian shelf, outlet flange connected to infrastructure under UK jurisdiction = Norway grants required authorisation from inlet flange to outlet flange. UK grants required authorisation from median line to outlet flange
  • inlet flange connected to infrastructure on UK shelf, outlet flange connected to infrastructure under Norwegian jurisdiction = UK grants required authorisation from inlet flange to median line. Norway grants required authorisation from median line to outlet flange
  • route of all inter-connecting pipelines is subject to consent of both governments
  • governments must seek to agree on terms of authorisations before they are granted – arbitration is available if needed
  • copies of authorisations must be made available to each government and must not be substantially altered or re-assigned without prior consultation between the governments
  • alterations are not to be made that would prevent unified ownership or operation or prevent /impede transport of petroleum
  • owner of inter-connecting pipeline must establish arrangements to regulate use of the pipeline in accordance with the agreement – governments may request a copy of any agreements setting out such arrangements

Operator

The owner is to appoint an operator. This must be approved (along with any subsequent change of operator) by both governments.

Each of the governments is to encourage optimal use of inter-connecting pipelines and take whatever measures they can to assist connections or access to such a pipeline for use to be made of spare capacity (without prejudicing efficient operation for the transport of petroleum owned by the owner of the pipeline).

Arrangements made by the owner to regulate use of the pipeline will include provisions on priorities for transport of petroleum (royalty in kind to get same priority as petroleum from field from which royalty is taken).

Dispute settlement about third party access

Responsibility for dispute settlement sits with the Norwegian Government where the proposed point of entry of petroleum is on the Norwegian shelf and the UK Government where the proposed point of entry is on the UK shelf.

Governments must consult on dispute settlement, seeking to agree a mutually acceptable response. Arbitration is available if needed. Both governments must apply principles of non-discrimination and fairness for all parties during a dispute, and they must take account of:

  • spare capacity available (allowing for owner’s contractual obligations and reasonably expected usage)
  • technical compatibility of third party petroleum with already contracted petroleum in the pipeline
  • economic factors, including costs, tariffs and other conditions applied to use of pipeline
  • need not to endanger security of supply or prejudice safety or environmental measures
  • technical capability and financial viability of third-party applicant
  • other matters relevant to either government

The government responsible for settling the dispute will take into account consultation with the other government and, at least 21 days prior to informing the applicant of the outcome, inform the other government how it intends to respond. Arbitration is available if needed. The other government shall, on request, give effect to an agreed response.

Environmental protection

Governments, jointly and severally, after consultation, will exert every effort to ensure the laying and operation of a pipeline shall not cause pollution of the marine environment or damage by pollution to the coastline, shore facilities, vessels or fishing gear of any country. Competent authorities will develop procedures to implement environmental protection measures in the agreement during an emergency.

Safety

Governments are to consult on common construction and safety standards for inter-connecting pipelines, and to require owners to comply.

Security

Nothing in the agreement is to prejudice special powers in the case of national or international emergencies. Each of the governments are to consult with the other as early as possible for an agreement on measures to reconcile urgency of the situation.

Telecommunications

Competent authorities are to agree on the establishment of operation and control of radio communications relating to inter-connecting pipelines. Other communication systems to be subject as far as possible to common design standards. If there are no common standards, standards of each government shall be compatible.

Exchange of information and confidentiality

Governments may exchange information received from the pipeline owner as long as it does not conflict with any restrictions on disclosure. Such information received by one government from the other is to be treated as confidential with no further disclosure, but information may be used to prepare general reports. Copies of general reports are to be made available to each government by the other.

Tax

Double taxation convention applies.

Metering system

The quality and quantities of petroleum are to be metered (entry and exit) by the pipeline owner. The metering system must be compatible with the metering system of the infrastructure and be properly installed/maintained. Where governments have a legitimate interest in the metering system for quantities of petroleum entering a pipeline, the system shall be subject to agreement between their competent authorities. Competent authorities must agree on regular calibration of the metering system.

Inspection

Each government must appoint inspectors for safe and proper laying of the pipelines. Inspectors must consult and co-operate. Available measures are to be taken to give respective inspectors access to relevant parts of the pipeline. Inspectors may order cessation of operation without consultation in cases of emergency – reasons are to be reported to the governments, which will then consult to consider action necessary for safe and speedy resumption of operations. Competent authorities must consult on inspection matters.

Continued use

If the governments agree, use and operation of a pipeline shall continue after expiration, surrender or revocation of an authorisation. The Government that had granted the authorisation shall grant a new authorisation or conduct for use and operation of the pipeline itself or take other action as agreed by both governments. Any arrangement established by the owner to regulate the use of the pipeline shall continue to apply, but may be subject to supplementary agreements.

If one government considers continued operation of all or part of a pipeline is not practical, the other government must be given the opportunity, in consultation with the owner, to ensure continued operation on fair terms and conditions. Subject to environmental considerations, neither government will prevent the other from securing continued use. Where one government takes over operation, it shall ensure any part of the pipeline no longer in use is removed or isolated if both governments agree on that course of action.

Decommissioning

Each government shall agree measures to be taken in connection with decommissioning. If the governments agree continued use of all or part of a pipeline is not practical, they shall require the owner to submit a decommissioning plan. The plan will include an estimate of the costs of the measures proposed in it; details of timing of the measures or provisions on how timings are to be determined. The governments, in considering a plan, shall take into account:

  • best available cost-effective techniques
  • economic factors
  • applicable international standards/guidelines
  • safety hazards
  • safety of navigation
  • environmental impacts
  • impact on other sea users
  • timetable for decommissioning
  • financial implications and other consequences for either government
  • other matters raised by either government

Governments may approve the plan with or without modifications and conditionally or unconditionally. The owner will be given the opportunity to make representations about any proposed modifications or conditions. The governments will act without unreasonable delay in deciding whether to approve or reject a plan. An approved plan must be implemented. The owner must be informed of the reasons for rejecting a plan and will submit a revised plan with a time limit acceptable to the governments. Arbitration is available if the governments are unable to agree a response to an application.

Arbitration

Any disputes about the interpretation or application of the agreement, or any other matter referred to the governments for settlement under any agreements between a pipeline owner and a user, will be resolved by negotiation between the governments. If a dispute cannot be resolved in that way, or by any other procedure agreed by the governments, either government may request dispute settlement by an arbitration tribunal composed as follows:

Each government designates one arbitrator. Both arbitrators elect a third, who will be chairman. They must not be a national of or habitually reside in either country. If either government fails to appoint an arbitrator within three months of a request, either government may request the International Court of Justice appoint an arbitrator. The same procedure applies if, within one month of the designation or appointment of the second arbitrator, the third arbitrator has not been elected. The tribunal will determine its own procedure, except that all decisions must be taken by a majority vote. The tribunal’s decisions are binding on the governments and regarded as agreements between the governments.

Amendment and termination

The governments may amend or terminate the agreement at any time by agreement. Either government may request consultations on an amendment to the agreement at any time; such a consultation is to commence within two months of the request and will be conducted expeditiously. During a consultation, the governments will take full account of the proposals for amendment with the aim of reaching a mutually acceptable solution within the shortest possible time.

Guidelines for the completion of Pipeline Works Authorisations

Since the Guidance Notes for Petroleum and Submarine Pipelines were published in 1992, there have been some legislative changes. The Pipeline Safety Regulations 1996 were introduced by the Health and Safety Executive; as part of a consolidation exercise, the Petroleum Act 1998 repealed and replaced the Petroleum and Submarine Pipelines Act 1975 and the Offshore Petroleum Production and Pipelines (Assessment of Environmental Effects) Regulations came into effect in 1999. All have had an impact in the process of making an application for an offshore Pipeline Works Authorisation (PWA).

Please note that either a Pipeline Works Authorisation (PWA) or PWA Variation should be in place before any construction/modification works of a pipeline or pipeline system begins. It is recommended that, before submitting an application, the prospective owner should informally consult both Pipelines Administration in the OGA and the Health and Safety Executive at the earliest possible opportunity, to discuss the proposed scheme and the regulatory requirements involved.

Where there are no objections, it takes approximately 4-6 months from receipt of a satisfactory application to issuing the authorisation. In the case of pipelines in respect of which an environmental statement is required under the Offshore Petroleum Production and Pipelines (Assessment of Environmental Effects) Regulations 1999, the procedure may take longer in order for all the environmental issues to be properly considered. Operators are therefore urged to submit their applications in good time (at least 4-6 months before construction begins), to meet their deadlines.

Consents and Authorisations - charges

For details of charges please see https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/cost-recovery-for-oil-and-gas-consents

Consents and Authorisations – Applications & Timings

To assist operators when submitting an application please see below table regarding end to end processing times for issuing consents upon receipt of a satisfactory application.

Current applications may use the checklist which can be found on the final page of the appropriate application template. The checklist may be used until the end of August to draft applications, however from the end of August 2015 only applications using the templates below will be accepted by OGA.

Type of applications and timings

Type of application

All applications require a 28 Day Consultation period.
Timings from receipt of a satisfactory application to works start date Attachment
PWA application - for all new fields irrespective of pipeline lengths.

This also requires a 28 day Public Notice consult.
4-6 months PWA Template (MS Word Document, 2.88MB)
PWA (with Median Line implications) - for all new fields irrespective of pipeline lengths within the UKCS.

This also requires a 28 day Public Notice consult.
6+ months PWA Template (MS Word Document, 2.88MB)
PWA Variation (Category 1- Long) - where varying an existing PWA and any new pipeline being installed in the Variation work scope is more than 500m in length and outside a HSE recognised safety zone.

This also requires a 28 day Public Notice consult.
4-6 months Category 1 (Long) Template (MS Word Document, 2.89MB)
PWA Variation (Category 2 - Short) - where any pipeline is less than 500m in length or totally within a HSE recognised safety zone or varying an existing pipeline 6-8 weeks Category 2 (Short) Template (MS Word Document, 1.92MB)
PWA Holder, User, Operator, Owner Variations – The Holder must make an application to Claire.grant@oga.gsi.gov.uk very early in the process regarding any proposed changes to the Holder, User, Operator or Owner information for OGA’s consideration using the HUOO template. If the OGA is content with the proposed changes the OGA will advise the Holder to resubmit the application nearer the execution date. The actual consent will not be issued until the deed has been executed. 6-8 weeks HUOO Template (MS Word Document, 125KB)
Deposit consent – application for any deposits being laid to support or protect a pipeline which has been authorised under a PWA. 6-8 weeks Deposit Consent Template (MS Word Document, 1.92MB)
Decommissioning - When decommissioning a field operators should contact Claire Grant at least a year in advance of proposed pipeline works to discuss PWA Variation requirements and timings for submission of applications 6+ months Category 2 (Short) Template (MS Word Document, 1.92MB)

If unsure of which type of application or have any queries please contact the Consents & Authorisations Manager.

Email: Claire Grant Telephone: 01224 254052

Action required by companies

  • at the design stage, companies should make contact with the Health and Safety Executive Specialised Installations Directorate in Aberdeen for Scottish waters, and the Hazardous Installations Directorate in Norwich for English/Welsh waters (see useful addresses (MS Word Document, 16.3KB) .
  • as soon as the route of the pipeline and basic technical details are known, contact should be made with the Consents and Authorisations Section at the OGA in Aberdeen to arrange an informal meeting.
  • when planning is well under way (e.g. to the extent that it is known whether the pipeline is to be trenched or buried and what type of manifolds are to be used), early contact with local fishing organisations is advised (this gives an opportunity for any problems to be highlighted and hopefully ironed out before the official consultation period.)
  • it is important to ensure the application contains all required details (though minor changes may be made at a later stage) and does not contain unnecessary information – particularly in the form of pages of technical drawings.
  • the application should be submitted in good time so the PWA may be issued before construction begins (approximately 4-6 months or longer if the pipeline crosses a median line and there are likely to be treaty issues or where there may be environmental concerns and the possibility of objections is higher).
  • applicants should not hesitate to phone the case officer handling their application if they have any query regarding the content of the application or if they require clarification of the relevant legislation/procedure.
  • the holder of the PWA must ensure the terms of the authorisation are upheld and that they make an application claire.grant@oga.gsi.gov.uk well in advance of any proposed modifications/variations and of any changes to the names/addresses of the holder/user(s)/operator and owner(s) for OGA’s consideration and possible consent.

Process Summary

  • a draft application should be submitted to the OGA allowing checks and any additional information to be requested from the company prior to full submission and processing of the application.
  • the applicant should discuss ‘consent to locate’ requirements with DECC’s Environmental Management Team (EMT) early in the process. EMT can be contacted at emt@decc.gsi.gov.uk or on 01224 254045. We are unable to issue a PWA consent unless the ‘consent to locate’ consent has also been approved.
  • the application will be forwarded to consultees for comment (these are generally other DECC or OGA sections, other government departments, fishing federations and other users of the sea). All consults are asked to respond within 28 days.
  • when any queries have been answered, and all consultees are content, the OGA will inform the applicant that they are to proceed to public notice. This requires the applicant to publish and make available for inspection details/maps of the project in such publications and at such addresses as may be directed by the Secretary of State for a period of 28 days. The applicant should forward the documents to the OGA for review and agreement, prior to publication.
  • schedule 2 to the Petroleum Act 1998 sets out the procedure for considering any objections to the application.
  • once objections have been resolved or if no comments have been received, the Pipeline Works Authorisation may be issued together with additional ‘consent to locate’ as referred to above. The PWA contains the terms under which the pipelines have been approved, which must be adhered to.
  • The OGA will inform all consultees of the issue of the PWA and arrange publication of a notice to this effect.
PWA Approvals

Definitions

Offshore pipelines

Under Part 3 of the Petroleum Act 1998 an authorisation is required for the construction and/or use of a “pipeline” in “controlled waters”. For these purposes, controlled waters means the territorial sea adjacent to the UK and the sea in any area designated under section 1(7) of the Continental Shelf Act 1964.

The Energy Act 2008 defines pipelines as a “pipe or system of pipes (excluding a drain or sewer) for the conveyance of anything, together with all apparatus, works and services associated with the operation of such a pipe or system”. This includes pipelines used for the conveyance of hydrocarbons, water, chemicals, apparatus for the supply of energy for operations, hydraulic control lines or umbilicals, as well as services (for example the provision of fuel or power).

Additional approvals and consents under The Offshore Petroleum Production and Pipe-lines (Assessment of Environmental Effects) Regulations 1999 (As amended), The Offshore Petroleum Activities (Conservation of Habitats) Regulations 2001 (As amended) and Part 4a of the Energy Act 2008 will also be required for their construction/use.

With the introduction of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 (MCAA) the following should also be noted:

  • the construction of pipelines in internal waters will require a Marine Licence and operators should seek advice from the consents team or EMT as requirements may differ between devolved authorities and dependent on whether the pipeline is associated with oil and gas, carbon capture and storage or gas unloading and storage activities.
  • the MCAA (2009) provides an order-making power by which the Secretary of State may provide that the provisions of Part 3 of the Petroleum Act 1998 do not apply to a specific pipeline or pipelines of a specified description.
  • in addition, the MCAA (2009) provides a second order-making power which allows the Secretary of State to provide that Part 3 of the Petroleum Act applies to specified pipelines or to pipelines of a specified description where the pipeline is used in connection with exploration for, or exploitation of, petroleum, or the importation of petroleum into the UK and that by virtue of the date when construction of the pipeline was begun, section 14(1)(b) of the Petroleum Act 1998 would not apply in relation its use.

Pipeline Works Authorisation

Under the Petroleum Act 1998 a “works authorisation” means an authorisation:

  • for the works for the construction of a pipeline
  • for such works and for the use of the pipeline

Holder of the PWA

The person to whom the authorisation is issued. An authorisation may not be issued to a person other than a body corporate.

User(s) of a pipeline

The person(s) authorised by the PWA to use the pipeline for the purpose of conveying any fluid, or other, so authorised.

Operator of a pipeline

The person designated by the holder as responsible for organising or supervising the construction or operation of the authorised pipeline in a manner that complies with the authorisation and, inter alia, with any relevant legislation existing at the material time. The works authorisation may name the operator as the holder.

Owner(s) of the pipeline

The person(s) in whom the pipeline is vested; and a person who has the right to use capacity in the pipeline, where such right has been acquired by that person on terms that – (a) he is entitled to use the capacity for a period of one year or more, and (b) the right is capable of being assigned or otherwise disposed of to another person. The Petroleum Act 1998 allows the Secretary of State to make an order, designating a person as the “owner” of a pipeline, after giving the person concerned an opportunity of being heard on the subject.

Required before any material e.g. rocks/mattresses are placed on the seabed for the protection or support of a pipeline during construction or maintenance of a pipeline.

A PWA must be in place before any Deposit Consent can be issued.

Application Guidance

Pipeline Works Authorisation (PWA) & PWA Variation Category 1 (Long)

The operator is to submit an application using the PWA Template (MS Word Document, 2.88MB) or Category 1 (Long) Template (MS Word Document, 2.89MB)

  • On receipt of a satisfactory application; the 28 day consultation period will commence
  • All approvals are to be received from the consults and the necessary environmental permits are to be in place
  • A Public Notice will be published for 28 days
  • When all objections/issues are resolved, or no objections received and other requirements have been met, a PWA Consent may be issued
  • End to end process takes approx. 4–6 months

Pipeline Works Authorisation (PWA) Variations

When a PWA is in place, if there are any changes to Table As then this must be done through a Variation. There are two categories:

Category 1 (Long) - Works are more than 500 meters or outside a HSE recognised safety zone.

The operator is to submit an application using the Category 1 (Long) Template (MS Word Document, 2.89MB)

  • On receipt of a satisfactory application; the 28 day consultation period will commence
  • A Consent to Locate (CTL) should be applied for, partner agreements, crossing agreements, block crossings and the necessary environmental permits are to be in place and all approvals are to be received from the consults.
  • A Public Notice will be published for 28 days
  • When all objections/issues are resolved, or no objections received and other requirements have been met, a PWA Consent may be issued
  • End to end process takes approx. 4 – 6 months

Category 2 (Short) - Works are less than 500 meters or totally within a HSE recognised safety zone.

The operator is to submit an application using the Category 2 (Short) Template (MS Word Document, 1.92MB)

  • On receipt of a satisfactory application; the 28 day consultation period will commence
  • When all approvals are received from the consults and the necessary environmental permits are in place a PWA Variation Consent may be issued
  • End to end process takes approx. 6 – 8 weeks

All queries should be directed to the Consents & Authorisations Manager claire.grant@oga.gsi.gov.uk
Telephone: 01224 254052

Holder, User, Operator & Owner Variations

In accordance with Term 16 of the PWA the Holder is to notify Claire Grant of proposed modifications/variations and of any changes to the names or addresses of the holder, user(s), operator and owner(s).

The HUOO Template (MS Word Document, 125KB) is to be submitted upon execution of licence transfers or any other changes which occur.

The permanent placing or deposition of material for the support or protection of a pipeline e.g. gravel, rock, mattresses or protective pipeline covers, on the seabed during the construction of a pipeline is governed by the Pipeline Works Authorisation. Schedule 2 of the authorisation prohibits any further deposition except with the prior written consent of the Secretary of State. In instances where, as part of a project requiring a PWA/PWA variation/deposit consent, materials are to be deposited on a temporary basis, please supply a list of the temporary deposits including the following information:

  • the type of deposit
  • how long it will be on the seabed
  • whether the deposit will be within or outside a 500m safety zone.

Please note: this is for our information only and applications for temporary deposits should still be directed to our Environmental Management Team for consideration.

For pipelines that do not have a PWA, e.g. pipelines constructed prior to the coming into force of the Petroleum and Submarine Pipelines Act 1975, any deposition would require a licence under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009. However, by virtue of the Petroleum Act 1998 (Specified Pipelines) Order 2011, operators have the option of applying for a PWA for those existing pipelines that were consented before the Petroleum and Submarine Act 1975, therefore precluding the requirement for an MCAA license.

It would be worth noting that there may be other circumstances where the operator may choose to apply for an MCAA License for specific activities in advance of seeking approval under the Petroleum Act (PWA) regime. MCAA licensable activities are likely to be primarily related to decommissioning operations, which are not activities exempt under the MCAA regime. Advice should be sought from the consents team or EMT.

The operator is to submit an application for new materials to be deposited using the Deposit Consent Template (MS Word Document, 1.92MB)

Addresses for applications and queries

Applications

Oil and Gas Authority (OGA)
Atholl House
86-88 Guild Street
Aberdeen
AB11 6AR

Telephone: 01224 254052
Fax: 01224 254089

Pipeline general enquiries
Email: Malcolm Cowie
Telephone: 01224 254064
Fax: 01224 254089

Pipeline policy
Email: Claire Grant
Telephone: 01224 254052
Fax: 01224 254089

Enquiries regarding Environmental Permits/ES
Email: Environmental Management Team
Fax: 01224 254019

Pipeline decommissioning
Email: Susan Laing
Telephone: 01224 254076
Fax: 01224 254019

Marine and Coastal Access Act (MCAA)
Email: Environmental Management Team
Fax: 01224 254019

Other addresses for PWA applications and queries

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Public Notice for viewing

Solitaire PWA - Public Notice

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Nevis South Public Notice Documents

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