Each oil and gas region have their own unique decommissioning regulations, risks, and stakeholder landscapes. For example, in the United Kingdom, commercial fishermen takes up 75% of all statutory consultees for the Decommissioning Programme (OPRED, 2019). Whereas in the Australian landscape, remote areas such as the North-West Shelf are dominated by recreational fishermen organizations (Shaw, Seares, & Newman, 2018).

One way to gain an in-depth understanding of stakeholder landscapes of the different decommissioning regions is through the development and analysis of stakeholder oriented critical paths. In this paper, the development and analysis of stakeholder oriented critical paths for the United Kingdom and Australia will be discussed to show how variation in regulatory, technical, and stakeholder environment can influence decommissioning decisions and impact decommissioning projects.

The critical paths were designed using mixed-methods – a combination of case studies and semi-structured interviews in order to take into account the interdisciplinary nature of decommissioning. One critical path design was developed for the United Kingdom and the other one for Australia. Each of the critical path design consists of two versions – a simplified and a detailed version.

Analysis of the critical paths yielded that the work breakdown structure of decommissioning remains the same across different regions. However, the difference in technical challenges, regulations, and stakeholder landscape have an effect on the philosophy, strategies, cost, and schedule of the decommissioning project. It is therefore important for operators to thoroughly understand the decommissioning landscape that they are in prior to planning decommissioning projects.

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