Decommissioning is the process whereby abandoned oil and gas fields are made safe and the land or sea is restored as far as possible to their original state.
This practice is of utmost importance, as failure to mitigate the risk of negative environmental, social and economic impacts following the closures and decommissioning of oil and gas assets in Nigeria can result in financial and legal burdens for local populations once exploitation ends.
This white paper calls on the Federal Government of Nigeria to play an active role in ensuring closure and post-closure activities are conducted effectively. For this to happen, it is essential that operators plan for the closure of oil and gas fields in advance, and thus regulation must require decommissioning as an integrated phase of an asset’s life.
Building on existing provisions for decommissioning in Nigeria, this paper presents a set of recommendations that would assist the establishment and enactment of an effective regulatory framework that results in sustainable decommissioning and closure practices in the oil and gas sectors.