Project 0.1 – A Roadmap of Decommissioning Research Priorities and Projects

In preparation for Phase 2 of NDRI research, we are calling for proposals to undertake a study to help us look into the future of decommissioning research in Australia.

Full Project Title

A Roadmap of Decommissioning Research Priorities and Projects

NDRI Reference

Project 0.1


To develop a roadmap of research projects that will answer critical knowledge gaps related to decommissioning in the Australian offshore oil and gas industry over the next 10 to 20 years.


Human-made infrastructure in the oceans can have impacts – both positive and negative – on marine life.

Most countries have policies that require oil and gas structures to be removed from the ocean at the end of productive life. However, there is growing interest in expanding the range of allowable decommissioning options which may change the environmental, social and economic outcomes.

In Australia, a titleholder has the opportunity to demonstrate that arrangements other than complete removal of equipment and property provide outcomes that reduce environmental impacts and risks to both acceptable levels and as low as reasonably practicable (ALARP).

There are many unresolved science questions that must be addressed to inform best practice decommissioning; however, as yet, there is no global consensus on what these issues are, and how they should be addressed.

Responses to this Expression of Interest should will highlight future research priorities for offshore decommissioning in Australia and identify the specific research steps required to address these priorities.

  1. What are the most significant gaps in our understanding of how decommissioning of oil and gas infrastructure over the next 10-20 years will impact the oceans, particularly in relation to engineering, socio-economic and environmental considerations?
  2. How do we answer the gaps identified above?

We want to highlight known or likely gaps that might emerge in the next 10-20 years relating to decommissioning of oil and gas infrastructure, particularly offshore Australia. This study should focus on industry, regulatory/approval and science gaps relating to engineering, socio-economic and environmental considerations.

NDRI anticipates that the successful proponent to deliver this study will be able to draw together key stakeholder groups to distil a common view of key gaps/questions and future decommissioning research priorities and projects. In this regard, stakeholder groups are considered to be industry representatives, regulators and researchers.

Much work has already been conducted on this topic, including projects contracted under Phase 1 of NDRI that are still progressing, and these existing materials or projects should provide a reference point for this Project 0.1.

Using the outcomes of the engagement with subject matter experts, the proponent should prepare a roadmap of specific research projects, including types of data needed to support this research, that address key knowledge gaps anticipated in the future. This work will inform future planning for projects under the NDRI

In summary, this project should undertake an assessment of key knowledge gaps related to decommissioning, using inputs such as:

  • Research underway or completed;
  • Literature reviews; and
  • Industry, regulatory and academic expert opinion
Expected Project Length

6 months