In recent years the mining industry has become intensely focused on managing closure impacts; environmental, social and economic. The industry has developed a range of techniques for this work. The oil and gas industry, however, has tended to focus on the the cost and environmental impacts of decommissioning with less consideration of social and economic issues.
The objective of this paper is to review the nature of social and economic impacts resulting from the closure of operational oilfields that come with decommissioning. It will investigate the application of closure impact assessment techniques from mining to the oil and gas industry.
The paper draws on project experience and review the literature to identify the likely range of social and economic impacts from oilfield closures, and the recommended processes for managing these impacts. A comparison will be undertaken with guidance from the mining industry. The range and nature of impacts will be compared to the mining industry and the application of mining industry impact assessment tools will be assessed for use of oilfield closure projects.
The paper identifies an appropriate range of techniques of closure impact assessment for the oil industry. It draws on techniques from the mining industry and customises them for application to the oil industry.