Economics of Decommissioning in the UK

  • Kemp, Alexander (Coordinator)
  • Linda Stephen (Coordinator)
  • Sola Kasim (Coordinator)

Impact: Economic and/or Commercial

Description of impact

Pioneering research by Professor Alex Kemp and colleagues Linda Stephen and Sola Kasim at the University of Aberdeen has analysed the economic aspects of decommissioning activity in the UK continental shelf (UKCS) and the related issues of change of use of oil assets and the prospects for carbon capture and storage. This work has been used by Government and industry to inform decision-making and financial planning to introduce financial security for decommissioning. In particular, the research has highlighted the potential size and timing of decommissioning including the sensitivity of the economic limit (COP date) to oil price behaviour and the implications of complex tax issues on the viability of the process.

Professor Kemp and his team’s research also demonstrated how change of use of oil assets such as pipelines could make a major contribution to enhancing the possibility that CO2 carbon capture and storage could become economically viable. Kemp’s research has informed recent initiatives made by oil company operators and the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) and has provided key guidance relating to the cost advantages from the reuse of oil-related infrastructure facilities to meet Net Zero emissions goals.

Outcomes to Date / Future Developments

Professor Kemp’s research findings have (1) informed practice within the financial management of the oil industry; (2) underpinned feasibility studies by both industry operators and regulators; and (3) informed UK Government strategy on carbon capture and storage.
Impact statusImpact Completed (Open)
Category of impactEconomic and/or Commercial


  • Economic
  • decommissioning activity