The decommissioning of offshore structures around the world will be a persisting problem in the coming decades as many existing structures will exceed their design life, or when the reservoirs are depleted. This paper examines an overview of regulations in countries deemed to be more experienced in decommissioning such as the UK, Norway and the USA. The regulations were identified in terms of three areas: the legal, technical and financial security framework. It is concluded that the majority of the regulations covering the technical section are similar. The major differences are between two overarching philosophies — one that is more prescriptive with stricter requirements and another that is more flexible with a goal-setting regime. Non-technical aspects of decommissioning appear to attract increasing attention from governments, such as decommissioning financial capability, minimisation of costs while meeting regulatory requirements, transfer of liability if other decommissioning options are accepted, and the movement of wastes from offshore to onshore and their subsequent disposal.

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