A Framework for a Net Environmental Benefit Analysis


A NEBA Based Comparative Assessment of Decommissioning Options for Anthropogenic Subsea Structures: A North Sea Case Study

Taxpayers and operators worldwide have significant current liabilities associated with decommissioning of offshore Oil & Gas (O&G) assets.  Increasing scientific evidence supports that manmade subsea structures create hard, artificial reef habitats that provide ecological and social benefits to society. Given the significant uncertainty regarding how subsea structures should be retired at the end of their operational lifetimes, it is necessary for governments, taxpayers, and operators to understand the risks and benefits associated with potential decommissioning options.

The NEBA-CA framework supplements and strengthens the standard CA process by:

  1. Incorporating quantified metrics including multigenerational ecosystem service benefits and risks.
  2. Excluding front ranking (scoring) or weighting of metrics.
  3. Providing consistent graphical displays to support visual differentiation of options and metrics.

Our Montrose experts, Joe Nicolette, Nicholas Nelson, Mike Rockel, Mark Rockel, and Alex Testoff, contributed to a scientific paper newly published in Frontiers in Marine Science. Using a North Sea Case Study, their paper demonstrates the ability of NEBA-CA to resolve inherent complexity in comparing decommissioning options, thereby supporting operators in working with regulators to decommission assets in a way that maximizes ecosystem service benefits to society while managing site-related risks and costs. Read the paper here. 

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