Decommissioning Offshore Oil and Gas Infrastructure in the Face of Climate Change and the Energy Transition

Lockman, Martin; Brauch, Martin Dietrich

On August 31, 2023, the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law and the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI), as part of their broader Climate Law and Finance Initiative, published two reports analyzing legal and contractual regimes governing decommissioning of offshore oil and gas infrastructure projects and identifying decommissioning-related risks in the context of a rapid phase-out of fossil fuel extraction required by the climate imperative.

The two reports, as well as an accompanying comment letter submitted by the Sabin Center to the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), provide policymakers, industry participants, and the public with tools to chart a pathway to prepare the offshore oil and gas industry for a Paris Agreement–compatible phase-out of fossil fuel extraction. The publications also shed light on the risk of private oil and gas companies, contractors, or investors (for simplicity, “oil companies”) defaulting on their decommissioning obligations and foisting them onto the public, and recommend measures to mitigate that risk.


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Academic Units
Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
Published Here
May 24, 2024