Oilfield clean-up costs are rising

The Department of Trade and Industry estimates the cost of decommissioning the UK’s offshore oil and gas installations to be £7bn-£10bn over the next 25 years at current prices, it has emerged. Treasury minister Dawn Primarolo disclosed the DTI figures in a written parliamentary answer. She added that the Exchequer expected to meet about half […]

The Department of Trade and Industry estimates the cost of decommissioning the UK’s offshore oil and gas installations to be £7bn-£10bn over the next 25 years at current prices, it has emerged.

Treasury minister Dawn Primarolo disclosed the DTI figures in a written parliamentary answer.

She added that the Exchequer expected to meet about half the cost through tax relief.

The figures are significantly higher than the estimates of the North Sea oil companies.

The most recent forecast by the UK Offshore Operators’ Association was for a total bill of £4bn-£7bn. A spokesman said: ‘We’ve had no reason to change that.’

Brent Spar decision, page 14