On 1st November 2023, Pauline Innes, Director of Supply Chain and Decommissioning at the NSTA, wrote to licensees reminding them of their obligation to decommission wells in a timely manner.

Currently compliance with guidance is patchy and the NSTA is concerned at the number of deferrals for well decommissioning activities that are being sought. While exceptional circumstances may arise to justify a deferment application, we do not normally expect to receive such requests.

Failure to meet a licence requirement in relation to well decommissioning may result in the matter being passed to the NSTA’s Disputes and Sanctions team.

A copy of the letter can be found here.